On Thursday, India Maharajas were up against World Giants in the final encounter of the league stage. At Al Amerat Cricket Ground, Oman, Maharajas won the toss and decided to field first. The decision of fielding first didn’t work for the Maharajas, with the Giants posting a massive total of 223/7.
Last match’s hero Kevin Pietersen opened the innings for Giants but failed today, getting out after hitting one six and a four. Phil Mustard played an amazing inning of 57 runs off 33 balls, striking five fours and four sixes. Herschelle Gibbs looked dangerous today in at one and played a destructive inning of 89 runs off just 46 balls, smashing seven boundaries and seven massive sixes.
Kevin O’ Brien, in at 2, struck five huge sixes to make 34 runs. Albie Morkel (16*) and Jonty Rhodes (20) finished well for the Giants, taking the team’s total to 223/7. For India Maharajas, Munaf Patel was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets. Stuart Binny, Rajat Bhatia, and Irfan Pathan were the other bowlers to get a wicket.
Naman Ojha started Maharajas’ innings in a violent form by smashing 95 in just 51 balls, including eight fours and seven sixes. Ojha’s innings provided the necessary momentum to the squad to win the match.
Yusuf Pathan decided to go vintage today, playing a fantastic inning of 45 runs off just 22 balls, striking two fours and five sixes. Irfan Pathan continued India’s clinical run chase by scoring a mesmerizing 56 of 21 balls, with the help of 6 sixes and three fours.
The match seemed to be in India’s control with only eight runs required off six balls and Irfan on crease until Brett Lee showed his death bowling masterclass. Brett Lee took Irfan’s wicket on the first ball of the over and bowled a series of wide Yorkers to give just two runs in the last over to snatch the win from Maharajas.
Herschelle Gibbs was awarded as the man of the match for his stunning performance of 89 runs off 46 balls. With this win, Giants qualified for the finals and will face Asia Lions in the grand finale.