- Sinchan Saha | March 16, 2023 | 8:03 am
Former Indian cricket team all-rounder Suresh Raina was asked about a probable return to international cricket during the on-going LLC Masters yet his reaction to the inquiry has turned into a web sensation via social media after an India Maharajas match, during the press conference.
“Everyone wants you back in the IPL after your performance tonight in Legends League Cricket.”a reporter asked Raina
Raina was amused by the question, and he denied any chance of a comeback while referencing Shahid Afridi.
“Main Suresh Raina hoon. Main Shahid Afridi nahi hoon. Retirement le chuka hoon (I’m Suresh Raina, not Shahid Afridi. I’ve taken retirement),”he said.
The fact that Shahid Afridi, a former star of the Pakistan cricket team, has returned multiple times since announcing his retirement from all forms of cricket prompted the reference
In the fourth match of the LLC Masters at the Asian Town Cricket Stadium in Doha, India Maharajas prevailed over Asia Lions thanks to captain Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa’s spectacular unbeaten 159-run opening partnership. This resulted in an emphatic 10-wicket victory.
Uthappa scored an unbeaten 88 off 39 balls with 11 boundaries and five sixes, and Gambhir scored an unbeaten 61 off 36 balls with 12 boundaries, both of which set fire to the Asian Town Cricket Stadium and destroyed the Asia Lions’ attack.
India Maharajas had bowled first and held Asia Lions to 157 for 5 in 20 overs. The match was won by the India Maharajas with 45 balls remaining.
For Asia Lions, Upul Tharanga broke 69 off 48 balls with seven boundaries and two sixes while Tillakaratne Dilshan scored 32 off 27 balls with four boundaries and a six. Together, they scored 73 runs in their first innings, but their efforts were in vain.
India Maharajas decided to bowl with their left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan after winning the toss and allowing only three runs in the first over with his fluid delivery. The primary limit of the day came from opener Upul Tharanga, who smoothly drove Ashok Dinda through the covers. In the same over, opener Tillakaratne Dilshan drove Dinda for a boundary. Pathan’s third over was just as brilliant, allowing just four runs to be scored. Dinda was lifted by Dilshan to the middle of the wicket for yet another boundary, establishing a solid opening partnership slowly but surely.
Tharanga skillfully cut away Stuart Binny’s first fifth-over delivery to the backward point fence. When wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa dropped Tharanga at 21, he escaped being caught behind to an outside edge to the third delivery. On the subsequent delivery, Tharanga scored a boundary to celebrate his escape. 16 runs were scored when Dilshan hit Binny to the square leg fence as well.
Tharanga hit the second ball to the cover point fence after Yusuf Pathan was brought in for the sixth over. By the time the power play was over, the partnership had scored 50 runs. Irfan Pathan was once again introduced for the seventh over to check the run stream, which he did by offering just six runs. India Maharajas presented their strike bowler Harbhajan Singh in the eighth over, and he also offered just five runs.
For a six-over square leg, Dilshan hit Binny’s second and third deliveries of the second over. Irfan Pathan took the catch at short third man after Dilshan on 32 was forced to cut in the air by Binny’s fourth ball. Mohammad Hafeez attempted a wild swing at the accurate Harbhajan, but he missed the fifth delivery of the tenth over and was given two runs leg before.
Misbah Ul Haq, the champion of Asia Lions’ first two matches, joined Tharanga at the halfway point, making the score 76 for 2. Pravin Tambe, a 51-year-old leg spinner, brilliantly stumped wicketkeeper Uthappa for a duck to take Misbah’s valuable wicket. With only one run conceded in the 12th over, the run flow began to decline. For a six-over long-off, Asghar Afghan hit Tambe’s first delivery of the 15th over. Tharanga arrived at his 50 years in 41 balls with six boundaries however Asghar Afghan got out leg before to Raina for 15.
In the 17th over, Tharanga swept Tambe for a boundary off successive balls and hit a straight six off him. After that, he hit Raina for a six to midwicket. However, when he tried to hit a similar shot, he was caught by Manvinder Bisla at wide long-on for 69. Dinda was hit for a boundary to the backward point and a six off consecutive balls by Abdul Razzaq, who is known for his big shots. He is now unbeaten on 27 from 17 balls with two boundaries and two sixes. Asia Lions were also guaranteed more than 150 runs thanks to this.
Gautam Gambhir, the India Maharajas’ captain and consistent scorer, and Robin Uthappa led the charge toward the goal. Uthappa scored two boundaries in Mohammad Amir’s second over as they confidently negotiated the pace of Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Amir. It was a delight to watch Gambhir hit an elegant cover drive off Tanvir in the third over. He then set two more boundaries that came after it. Twenty runs were scored in that over when Uthappa hit Tanvir’s final ball of the third over for a boundary through the covers. In that over, he had also bowled three consecutive wides.
Mohammad Hafeez, an offspinner, was used for the fifth over to check the flow of the ball. Gambhir scored a 50-run opening partnership in five overs by hitting two boundaries off Hafeez’s fifth and sixth balls.
For the sixth over, left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, who bowled brilliantly against World Giants in the third match, was used. To subtract 14 runs from that over, Uthappa cut him for a boundary and hit two boundaries in succession in the fifth and sixth deliveries. As a result, the power play resulted in 65 runs.
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The crowd applauded Shoaib Akhtar as he bowled the seventh over. With a few members of the audience yelling about Uthappa’s express deliveries, he withdrew his fourth and final delivery to enforce boundaries. Hafeez, who bowled the ninth over, raced to his half-century in 27 balls after Uthappa pulled him over midwicket and into the stands for three sixes. He also hit a boundary, and that over cost him 23 runs. Isuru Udana was the target of the onslaught, and Gambhir and Uthappa were able to quickly establish boundaries.
India Maharajas only required 33 runs in the final 60 balls at the halfway point. Gambhir reached his half-century in 32 balls and guided his team to triumph with 45 balls in excess.