KOLKATA: Yusuf Pathan smashed an unbeaten fifty as India Maharajas defeated World Giants by six wickets in a special charity match here on Friday.
The game was played ahead of Legends League Cricket, beginning here on Saturday. Yusuf, who had slammed the second-fastest IPL fifty in 15 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad here in their triumphant 2014 campaign, showed his old fury in a 35-ball 50 not out to take them home with eight balls to spare.
Yusuf, a winner of three IPL titles, struck all around the Eden including a huge six off Daniel Vettori into the stands in his assault to lead the charge. In all, he struck two sixes and five fours.
No 3 Tanmay Srivastava (54) gave a fine support at the other end as the duo put together a match-turning 103-run partnership after Maharajas were reduced to 50/3 after the powerplay in pursuit of a challenging 171. It was time for Harbhajan to roll back the years at this favourite venue Eden Gardens where he had become the first Indian bowler to claim a Test hattrick in the epic 2001 Test win against Australia.
Leading the side after Virender Sehwag opted out of captaincy, the veteran offspinner bowled Jacques Kallis round the legs and also took catches, including a well-judged backward running to dismiss Romesh Kaluwitherna to have the 15,000-odd crowd on its feet.
But the star of the day was tall pacer Pankaj Singh, who returned with 5/26 which included a maiden over as World Giants managed 170/8 after they opted to bat.