Legends League Cricket India Capitals on sole lead after crushing victory over Manipal Tigers

Cuttack: India Capitals defeated Manipal Tigers by 7 wickets in their final league match of the Legends League Cricket 2022 played at the Barabati Stadium here on Thursday on the back of a brilliant innings by Hamilton Masakadza (68 not out). India Capitals easily achieved the target of 161 runs given by Tigers in 17.2 overs for the loss of three wickets. This is India Capitals’ third win in five matches. They have got seven points and are sitting at the top of the points table. This is Tigers’ third defeat in five matches.

Earlier, after losing the toss, Manipal Tigers, batting first, scored 161 for five in 20 overs. This includes Jesse Ryder’s 79 and Mohammad Kaif’s quick 67. Apart from these two, no other batsman of Tigers could reach the doubles. Ryder and Kaif shared a 126-run partnership for the second wicket after Tatenda Taibu (5) fell for a total of 30 runs. Ryder fell victim to Liam Plunkett on a total of 156 runs. Ryder hit five fours and five sixes in his 56-ball innings.

Kaif too, however, could not bear the farewell of his partner and was dismissed only after adding one run to the total. Kaif hit 9 scintillating fours and a six in his innings of 48 balls. Captain Harbhajan Singh returned unbeaten on 1 while Corey Anderson (4) and Pradeep Sahu (0) disappointed. Rajat Bhatia and Plunkett took two wickets each for India Capitals while Mitchell Johnson got a breakthrough.

In reply, the India Capitals team lost the wicket of their captain Gautam Gambhir (15) for a total of 23 runs. Gambhir looked in good form and had hit three fours in 9 balls but Christopher Moffu caught him in his net in the third over. Similarly, Solomon Mere also looked in good rhythm but he too failed to play a big innings. In the sixth over, he was made his victim by Dilhara Fernando. Mere scored 28 runs in 19 balls with the help of three fours and one six.

After this, although Hamilton Masakadza and Ross Taylor batted brilliantly, not only did the team cross 100 but also put the team in a winning position. In the last 8 overs, India Capitals needed 43 runs to win. Meanwhile, Super Sub Muttiah Muralitharan shows the magic of his wrist and makes Taylor walk. Taylor’s wicket fell for a total of 137. Taylor, who shared a match-winning 85-run partnership with Masakadza, scored 29 runs off 29 balls with the help of one four and two sixes.

Now came Ashley Nurse to support Masakadza, who has scored a century for the Capitals. Capitals needed to score just 16 runs in the last four overs and victory was close. Full credit to Masakadza who not only played a quick innings but also kept his wicket intact. Nurse, however, eased the pressure on Masakadza to ensure India Capitals’ victory by scoring an unbeaten 21 off just 11 balls with the help of three sixes.

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