11/28/2022
Dominant Sri Lanka Legends booked a well-deserved place in the Road Safety World Series 2022 final with an emphatic 14-run-win over West Indies Legends in the semi-final played at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium on Friday (September 30). In the first edition of this tournament, Sri Lanka Legends clashed with India Legends in the final.

In the first edition of this tournament, Sri Lanka Legends clashed with India Legends in the final when Sachin Tendulkar-led India Legends ended up being the winners at this very venue.

In the first semi-final, India Legends defeated Australia Legends by five wickets to enter the final. The final will be played on October 1 at 7.30 pm. Chasing a target of 173 runs set by Sri Lanka Legends, West Indies Legends could manage only 158 for the loss of seven wickets in their 20 overs despite a valiant 63 from Narsingh Deonarine. Earlier, batting first after losing the toss, Sri Lanka Legends scored 172 for 9 in 20 overs. Ishan Jayaratne’s 19-ball 31, with the help of two sixes and a four, was the highest scorer for Sri Lanka. Openers Mahela Udavante 15 (11 balls, 2 fours, 1 six), and Sanath Jayasuriya 26 (19 balls, 2 fours) started off well but failed to convert the start into a big knock. Later, Jeevan Mendis 25 (15 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) and Chaturanga de Silva 11 (7 balls, 1 four), Asela Gunaratne 13 (11 balls, 1 four), Isuru Udana (1 four, 1 six) and Nuwan Kulasekara (8 not out) provided the late impetus to help the Tillakaratne Dilshan-led side to post a defendable total. Only three batsmen, Captain Tillakaratne Dilshan (7), Upul Tharanga (3) and Chamara Silva (7) could not reach the double figures. But 172 was always going to be a good total for the Sri Lankans to defend because of a well-rounded bowling lineup in their ranks.

For Caribbean Legends, Devendra Bishoo and Krishmar Santokie took two wickets apiece while Darren Powell, Jerome Taylor, Dwayne Smith and Suleiman Benn got one wicket each. In response to Sri Lanka’s 172, the start for the Caribbean team wasn’t that good as their legendary captain and one of the world’s greatest batsmen, Brian Lara, fell victim to Nuwan Kulasekara on his personal total of 17. Lara’s wicket fell for 20 and West Indies failed to get a decent start in the powerplay. After this, however, Dwayne Smith (23 runs, 24 balls, 3 fours) handled the innings with Narsingh Deonarine (63 runs, 39 balls, 4 fours, 4 sixes) and the duo shared a good partnership for the second wicket. Their partnership was moving towards a half-century when Jayasuriya trapped Smith plumb in front. Right-handed Smith and left-handed Deonarine put on 45 runs for the second wicket. The Caribbean team could not recover from this setback and Jayasuriya gave them another jolt on the very next ball by clean bowling Kirk Edwards for a golden duck. Captain Dilshan, who failed with the bat, brought himself into the attack and dismissed William Perkins (2) when the WIndies were four down 68. The Caribbean team, which had lost three wickets for three runs, was hoping for a big innings from someone and Deonarine and Danja Hayat (17 runs, 19 balls, 1 four) build up a partnership. However, with the pressure of the asking run rate increasing, the Caribbean batters tried to play risky shots and lost their wickets.

The Caribbean team needed 83 runs in the last 8 overs. Meanwhile, Narsingh completed his half-century in 30 balls but the scoreboard pressure kept mounting up. The Caribbean team needed 60 runs in the last 6 overs and meanwhile, Gunaratne interrupted the run chase by dismissing Hayat and he broke the partnership of 54 runs between these two. Jerome Taylor (19 not out, 15 balls, 2 fours, 1 six) joined Deonarine and they were looking to share a good partnership but Kulasekara ended the WIndies’ hopes by dismissing Deonarine when the scoreboard read 141. Krishmar Santokie (5) also went back cheaply but Taylor stayed. The conditions, however, were getting difficult for the Men in Maroon as 25 runs were needed off 10 balls. The equation soon came down to 22 runs off the last 6 balls, which seemed impossible to overcome.

Despite Taylor’s six in the last over and the Sri Lankans won the match by 14 runs and won the ticket to the finale. Nuwan Kulasekara and Jayasuriya took two wickets each for him and the former was adjudged the player of the match.