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Naman Ojha’s majestic ton powers India Legends to second successive title

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The India Legends secured their second Road Safety World Series title after defeating the Sri Lanka Legends in the repeat of the last edition’s final. The Indian team led by batting great Sachin Tendulkar triumphed their neighbors by 33 runs on Saturday, 1st of October at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur.

Chasing a handsome target of 196 runs, the Sri Lankan team made an atrocious start to their innings, losing Sanath Jayasuriya and Dilshan Munaweera in consecutive overs inside the powerplay. Their misery was further compounded after the dismissal of skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga after the conclusion of the field restrictions.

The Sri Lankan chase was seemingly over halfway through their innings with the result being a foregone conclusion. But the Sri Lankan lower order batter provided a sting in the tale as Ishan Jayaratne (51 off 22) and  Mahela Udawatte gave the Indian bowlers a huge scare with their dashing partnership.

But the target proved to be too many for the heroic pair as the islanders were bundled out for 162 runs, losing the final by 33 runs for the second time in a row. Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun shone for the Indian team, sharing five wickets with the ball.

Naman Ojha’s brilliance guides India to a challenging total in the final

Earlier in the match, India Legends, led by Sachin Tendulkar, won the toss and elected to bat first at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur. The Indian contingent was dealt an early blow in the form of the skipper’s wicket, who was dismissed in the first over for a golden duck.

Sachin’s dismissal did not deter his opening partner Naman Ojha, who was the hero in the previous encounter against the Australia Legends. The elegant wicket-keeper batter made run-scoring look ridiculously easy, along with the surprise pinch hitter Vinay Kumar. The latter, who played predominantly as a bowler throughout his career, played a blistering cameo of 36 runs off just 21 deliveries to provide the Indian innings impetus in the middle overs.

Ojha went on the register a glittering ton as India finished with a daunting total of 195 runs, thanks to handy cameos from Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, and Stuart Binny at the fag end of the innings. Nuwan Kulasekara, the leading wicket-taker of the tournament, was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers, dismissing three Indian batters in his three-over spell.

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