Skipper Sachin Tendulkar's masterclass and Yuvraj Singh's blistering batting show helped India Legends defeat West Indies Legends by 12 runs in the semi-final contest of the Road Safety World Series on Wednesday.
In a rip-roaring contest, Tendulkar scored 65 off 42 deliveries after the Indian side was put in to bat first. The Master Blaster was assisted by Virender Sehwag, who continued to play his fearless brand of cricket, scoring a 17-ball 35 at the start.
After Sehwag's departure, Tendulkar stuck in the middle to stitch a half-century stand with Mohammad Kaif. Tendulkar's 65 -- his top score in the Road Safety World Series -- consisted of 6 fours and 3 sixes. After Tendulkar's magnificent fifty, it was Yuvraj's blitzkrieg towards the end of the first innings.
The southpaw hammered four sixes in an over, finishing with a 20-ball 49 that eventually made the difference. Yuvraj was also complimented by Yusuf Pathan's cameo of 37 from 20 deliveries as India Legends ended up putting 218/3 in 20 overs.
In response, West Indies Legends started off well, with opener Dwayne Smith hitting 63 off 36 deliveries and taking Indian bowlers to the cleaners. While Smith departed in the 11th over, skipper Brian Lara scored a vital 46 as the West Indies batting unit tried to make a fist of it.
Narsingh Deonarine, who got run out after scoring a 44-ball 59, was the lone man standing during his side's effort to hunt down an intimidating total. In the end, the West Indies camp managed to post 206/6 on the board, handing India a spot in the final of the tournament. India Legends will now lock horns with either South Africa Legends or Sri Lanka Legends in the summit clash.
Yuvraj was adjudged Player of the Match for his six-hitting spree in Raipur. In the course of his fiery knock, the left-hander smashed a four and 6 sixes.
"I think I got lucky again, got dropped. In these tournaments, I see guys getting dropped and I never got dropped before. So God answered my prayers I guess.
"They were bowling Tino early, so I was just waiting for the spinners. It was hard to get used to the pitch, was trying to hit too hard. Yusuf told me not to do that. He's been batting really well, been exceptional. We had a big total on the board and that's the reason we could stretch in the end," he said.
Skipper Tendulkar also heaped praise on Yuvraj's batting show and the side's bowling effort. "A terrific game. The way West Indians approached the target, it was scary at times. At no stage did they look rattled. Wonderful that we held our nerve at the end. Credit to Gony, Irfan and Vinay. Pragyan also got us an important wicket. So the bowlers did well. It was special hitting by Yuvi and Yusuf," said Tendulkar.