Lucknow: The Zimbabwean pair of Solomon Mire and Henry Masakadza swung their bats with great success as India Capitals beat Bhilwara Kings by 78 runs in the fourth match of the Legends League Cricket (LLC), at the BRSABV Ekana Stadium here.
Mire’s 82 off 38 balls and Masakadza’s 30-ball 48 helped the Gautam Gambhir-led Capitals post 198/5, the highest total of the League so far, on Wednesday.
The Capitals bowlers then chipped away with wickets at regular intervals to pick up their first win of the season. Irfan Pathan’s Bhilwara was bowled out for 120 from 19.2 overs.
Bhilwara stumbled from the beginning of their chase. Two superb overs from Capitals seamer Pankaj Singh (2/17) pegged back Bhilwara as he dismissed Nick Compton and Naman Ojha.
Pankaj, a 37-year-old who represented India in Test and ODI cricket, showed excellent control over line and length while Pravin Tambe was mesmerizing with his spin craft. The 50-year-old, who had taken three wickets in the Capitals’ first game, picked up 2/24 on Wednesday.
Bhilwara’s hopes to chase down the huge total depended on the Pathan brothers — Yusuf and Irfan. They came together with their team struggling on 51/4.
But just when Yusuf (14), who had earlier picked up 3/28 with the ball, started looking dangerous with the bat, he got caught at deep mid-wicket. Irfan was dismissed for 17.
Thereafter, it became difficult for Bhilwara to keep up with the asking rate.
Earlier, after being asked to bat first, the Capitals lost skipper Gambhir early. But the ‘M & M’ pair of Mire and Masakadza launched a vicious counterattack to give the Capitals an upper hand in the contest.
The two shared a 105-run partnership, dealing mostly in fours and sixes. It was Yusuf who gave Bhilwara a much-needed breakthrough when he trapped Masakadza lbw.
Mire, however, was in no mood to stay silent. Before he mistimed a hoick off Yusuf, the 33-year-old had done the damage with seven boundaries and six huge sixes.
The action on Thursday moved from Lucknow to New Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium, where table-toppers Gujarat Giants, led by Virender Sehwag, will take on Harbhajan Singh’s Manipal Tigers.
While the likes of Parthiv Patel and Kevin O’Brien have batted powerfully for the Giants, the Tigers have struggled with the bat, managing only 120/8 when the two teams crossed swords on Monday.
It will also be a revenge match for the winless Tigers, who had lost by a narrow margin of two wickets in their last face-off.