Harbhajan, Muralitharan keep Sehwag's brigade nervous with top-class spin in low-scoring run chase
Gujarat Giants registered a two-wicket win in what could have been an easy run chase against Manipal Tigers in the ongoing Legends League Cricket (LLC) 2022. Tigers batters disappointed greatly as their bowlers did not have much to defend despite a commendable effort.
Towards the end of the run chase, skipper Harbhajan and Muttiah Muralitharan kept Tigers in the hunt with timely strikes but they did not have much to defend. After Thisara Perera's wicket (22), Joginder Sharma (12) struggled and lost his wicket to the Sri Lankan legend. Graeme Swann's two boundaries made the run chase easy but Muralitharan struck again to make matters interesting. In the end, it was a wide that led to Giants' win with 16 balls to spare.
Earlier, Tigers' openers failed again. Shivakant Shukla got run out whereas Swapnil Asnodhar got out for a single-digit score. Promoted up the order at no.4, Tatenda Taibu too did not make an impact as he got bowled by Ashoke Dinda.
From 23/3 in the sixth over, Mohammad Kaif and Ravikant Shukla helped Tigers recover but at a slow rate. Dinda came back into the attack and got Kaif's wicket. The half-centurion of the previous game scored just 24 runs from 29 balls. Another Tigers batter got run out. Pardeep Sahu looked promising but returned back to the pavilion.
Surprisingly, Corey Anderson was sent in to bat at no.7. Anderson struggled against spin bowling. Dilshan got the wicket of both Shukla (32) and Anderson (5). In the end, it was skipper Harbhajan who helped Tigers post a total of 120/8. Harbhajan scored 18 runs off nine deliveries including one four and two sixes before losing his wicket to Thisara Perera.