Irfan Pathan and Manpreet Gony gave England Legends a mighty scare at the Road Safety World Series 2021 in Raipur on Tuesday night. The two India Legends all-rounders had an unbeaten 63-run partnership off just 32 deliveries for the eighth wicket. Unfortunately, their efforts went in vain as England Legends prevailed by six runs.
England Legends set a 189-run target for the home team, riding on Kevin Pietersen’s half-century. Monty Panesar wrecked the India Legends batting lineup before Irfan Pathan combined forces with Manpreet Gony to take the game down to the wire.
The equation came down to 19 runs off the final six deliveries, but Irfan and Gony could score only 12 from Ryan Sidebottom’s last over.
Brief scores: England Legends 188/7 (Kevin Pietersen 75, Darren Maddy 29; Yusuf Pathan 3/28, Irfan Pathan 2/28) beat India Legends 182/7 (Irfan Pathan 61*, Manpreet Gony 35; Monty Panesar 3/15, James Tredwell 2/44) by 6 runs.
Earlier in the evening, India Legends captain Sachin Tendulkar won the toss and invited England Legends to bat first. That decision seemingly backfired because Kevin Pietersen destroyed the Indian bowling lineup. The England Legends skipper aggregated 75 runs before losing his wicket to Irfan Pathan in the 14th over.
The India Legends pulled things back slowly as they did not allow any other England Legends player to touch the 30-run mark. Eventually, Chris Tremlett’s 4-ball 12* guided the England Legends to 188/7 in 20 overs.
Chasing 189, India Legends got off to a disastrous start. Matthew Hoggard dismissed Virender Sehwag in the second over, while Monty Panesar sent Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Kaif, and Yuvraj Singh back to the pavilion. The reliable Subramaniam Badrinath then got out hit-wicket as India Legends slumped to 56/5.
Irfan Pathan and Manpreet Gony brought India Legends back into the match
Irfan Pathan started cautiously and played four dot balls off Monty Panesar’s bowling. He steadied the boat with Yusuf Pathan and Naman Ojha before launching an all-out assault with Manpreet Gony in the slog overs.
Both Gony and Pathan were once a part of the Gujarat Lions team during their IPL careers. They batted brilliantly together, adding 63 runs off just 32 deliveries for the eighth wicket.
At one moment, it seemed like the duo would pull off an improbable victory for the India Legends. But Ryan Sidebottom defended 19 off the last over to give the England Legends their second consecutive win in this tournament.
With this defeat, India Legends’ 3-match winning streak in the Road Safety World Series ended. The Sachin Tendulkar-led outfit will play their final group match against the South Africa Legends this Saturday.
Meanwhile, England Legends will look forward to completing a hat-trick of wins when they cross words with the South Africa Legends on Thursday.