Batting greats Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh turned back the clock and took Raipur by storm in their inimitable style as India Legends registered a thumping 57-run win over South Africa Legends in Road Safety World Series T20 at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium on Saturday.
South Africa, chasing 205 to win, could manage just 148 for 7 in their alloted 20 overs.
Tendulkar got his maiden half-century of the tournament while Yuvraj was at his vintage best during his unbeaten 52 in India's huge win.
The win has taken India back to the top spot with 16 points overtaking Sri Lanka in net run rate.
Tendulkar cracked a 37-ball 60 with the help of nine boundaries and a six while Yuvraj starred with a 22-ball 52 not out with six towering sixes, including four in succession.
S Badrinath contributed with 42 (34b, 2x6, 4x4) before being carried away by his teammates after he injured his right hamstring. The tall Yusuf Pathan, too, joined the party with his big hits by contributing a quickfire 10-ball 23 with two fours and as many sixes.
Being put in to bat first by South Africa captain Jonty Rhodes, the 50,000 plus crowd in Raipur thundered 'Sachin, Sachin' as Tendulkar walked out to bat with Virender Sehwag.
This was supposed to be the Tendulkar night. Like a man on a mission, Tendulkar, whose previous highest score was 36 in the tournament, was all determined to put up a show. As he executed those copybook back-foot punch through covers and the classical straight drive to pacer South African legend Makhaya Ntini, the spectators jumped out of their seats in joy. In the next over, Sehwag was sent home by Garnett Kruger.
Tendulkar, however, continued his domination alongside Badrinath. He also hit Thandi Tshabalala for six over the off-spinner head. The duo added 95 runs for the second wicket before Tendulkar went for an extravagant shot over the covers against Monde Zondeki and ended up giving into the hands of Tshabalala. Later, Badrinath, too, returned home retired hurt.
Then, it was Yuvraj show all the way till the end. The south-paw reminded of his 2007 World T20 heroics of six sixes in one over of Stuart Broad when he sent seamer Zander de Bruyn for four continuous hits over the ropes in the 18th over.
At the end of 20th over, India were sitting pretty at 204/3.
Brief scores: India Legends 204/3 in 20 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 60, Yuvraj Singh 52*, S Badrinath 42, Yusuf Pathan 23, Manpreet Singh Gony 16; Monde 2/35) beat South Africa 148/7 in 20 overs (Andrew Puttick 41, Morne van Wyk 48; Yusuf Pathan 3/34, Yuvraj Singh 2/18)
( With inputs from ANI )
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