Global giants 139 for 7 (Gale 57, Watson 26, Yousuf 2-14) Maharajah of India 136 for 9 (Raina 49, Bisla 36, Lee 3-18)
Chris Gayle’s 46-ball 57 made light work of the world giants’ chase of 137 after Brett Lee (3 for 18) bowled a game-changing final over against India Maharaja on Wednesday. The global giants completed the chase with eight balls to spare to complete a routine win in Doha.
Gayle was clear about his intentions from the start of the innings. He hit six fours in the first three overs to heap trouble on the Maharajah’s bowlers, and Ashok was particularly tough with the bat. In the sixth over, he hit him for 4, 6, 4 and 4 on consecutive balls.
Shane Watson picks up the pace with some vintage shots in his quickfire cameo. After hitting two fours off Praveen Tambe in the seventh over, he hit stand-in India Maharaja skipper Harbhajan Singh for two consecutive fours in the very next over.
Tambe halted the Giants’ cruise temporarily, bowling a dream delivery to dismiss Watson as the ball hit him on the outside edge and dismissed the bails.
With few wickets to go as the innings progressed, this dismissal forced Gayle to adopt a cautious approach in the chase. After reaching his half-century in 26 balls, he managed just seven runs in the next 20. His innings was cut short by Suresh Raina, who surprised him with a length ball that didn’t bounce much and trapped him right in front.
Although the world giants continued to lose wickets after that dismissal, cameos from Sumit Patel and Morne van Wyk took them over the line.
Earlier, in the absence of their regular captain and in-form opener Gautam Gambhir, the Indian maharajas were desperate for a strong start. Robin Uthappa, coming off a brilliant fifty on Tuesday, looked out of control against Sumit even though he got a boundary off his second ball. Two balls later, Smith dismissed him with an arm ball, the batsman mistimed it to Aaron Finch at midwicket.
Raina tried to increase the scoring rate by hitting Monte Panesar for two back-to-back sixes in the eighth over. First, he picked up a back-of-length delivery and pulled it to deep midwicket before stepping out to hit it over the next bowler’s head.
However, Maharaja’s innings followed a solid partnership pattern followed by quick wickets. After a 60-run stand between Raina and Manvinder Bisla, they lost Yusuf Pathan and Stuart Binny on consecutive balls.
Irfan Pathan’s cameo of 25 runs off 20 balls supported them for a while but Lee’s two wickets in the 19th over reduced them to a sub-par total.