Manipal Tigers' nail-biting win against the Bhilwara Kings; their first one in the league
he eighth match of the Legends League Cricket (LLC) on Monday saw a nail-biting finish as Harbhajan Singh’s Manipal Tigers edged out Irfan Pathan’s Bhilwara Kings by just 3 runs to register their first win of the League.
After a superlative opening partnership between Tatenda Taibu and Jesse Ryder helped the Tigers post 175/8 in 20 overs, the Kings, powered by brothers Irfan and Yusuf Pathan, almost pulled off a thrilling chase at the Barabati Stadium.
The Kings needed 9 runs from the last over to win, but former Sri Lanka speedster Dilhara Fernando conceded only 5, besides also taking two wickets. Fernando finished with 4/31 from his four overs as the Kings ended on 172/9.
The Kings did not get the blistering start that the Tigers had. While Taibu and Ryder had plundered 63 without loss in their Powerplay overs, the Kings managed only 43/1.
The pair of Tanmay Srivastava (26) and Yusuf brought out a few big hits in the middle overs, but the former got out in the 15th over. That saw Irfan join brother Yusuf at the crease.
The Pathan brothers shared a 41-run stand in quick time before Irfan was out on the penultimate ball of the 18th over. But Yusuf carried on. But after he was out off the last ball of the 19th over for a 42 off 21 balls, the Kings’ chase lost steam.
Earlier, the decision to put the Tigers in to bat first backfired on Kings’ captain Irfan as the rival openers swung into action with big hits from the very beginning. A copybook six over Irfan’s head from Taibu showed that his skills with the bat remain as it were during his playing days.