World Championship of Legends: South Africa beat India; Australia clinch big win over West Indies

Northampton: South Africa Champions defeated India Champions while Australia Champions prevailed over West Indies Champions in the last two league games of the World Championship of Legends 2024 here at County Ground.

With that, the league stage came to an end and the four semi-finalists have been locked in.

Pakistan Champions will take on West Indies Champions in the first semifinal while the second will be played between Australia and India on Friday. The winners of the respective games will play the summit clash on Saturday.

In the first match of the day, led by an explosive century from Ben Dunk and a near-century from Daniel Christian, Australia Champions set a commanding total of 274 for 7 in their 20 overs after they were put in to bat first.

Dunk’s 100 off 35 balls, featuring 10 fours and 7 sixes, set the tone for a high-scoring innings. Christian followed with a rapid 99 off 35 balls, which included 11 fours and 8 sixes, ensuring the Australia Champions posted a formidable total. Rayad Emrit was the pick of the West Indies bowlers, taking 4 wickets for 56 runs.

In response, the West Indies Champions started their chase with a early setback, losing Kirk Edwards for just 5 runs. Dwayne Smith led a spirited effort, smashing 64 off 40 balls with 7 fours and 3 sixes. His aggressive approach gave the West Indies hope, but wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.

They were struggling at 81 for 4 at one stage before a middle-order resilience was showcased by Ashley Nurse, who played a remarkable innings, scoring an unbeaten 70 off 36 balls with 7 fours and 4 sixes. His late partnership with captain Daren Sammy, who contributed 33 off 18 balls, added some respectability to the score.

However, the required run rate kept climbing, and despite Nurse’s valiant efforts, the West Indies Champions fell short of the target, finishing their innings at 219 for 6 in 20 overs.

Brett Lee and Peter Siddle were instrumental in controlling the run chase, taking 2 wickets each as Australians secured a comfortable victory by 55 runs.

In another action, riding upon blistering half-centuries from opener Jacques Synman and wicketkeeper Richard Levi, the South Africa Champions posted a total of 210/8 in 20 overs, and the bowlers restricted India to 156/6 in the allotted 20 overs to end their campaign on a winning note.

Synman, who scored an unbeaten 82 against Pakistan in the previous game, once again showcased his batting prowess and blasted 73 off 43 balls (10x4s, 3x6s) to lay a solid foundation for his team.

Later, Levi smashed a 25-ball 60, with 5 sixes and as many boundaries, and helped his team dominate the middle overs. While the Indian bowlers did make a strong comeback in the death overs, they couldn’t prevent the Proteas from posting a big total.

Harbhajan Singh (4/25) was the pick of the bowlers for India as the Turbanator rolled back the clock with his off-spin bowling.

Indian openers failed to give their team a good start in the run chase and their top five were back in the dugout with just 77 runs on the board in 11.3 overs. Yusuf Pathan (54* off 44) and Irfan Pathan (35 off 21) shared a vital stand but couldn’t help their side cross the finish line as the asking rate kept getting higher. India lost the game by 54 runs eventually.

Brief Scores:

Australia Champions Vs West Indies Champions

Australia 274/7 in 20 overs (Ben Dunk: 100 off 35 balls & Daniel Christian: 99 off 35 balls; R Emrit: 4-0-56-4) beat West Indies Champions 219/6 in 20 overs (Dwayne Smith: 64 off 40 balls & Ashley Nurse: 70* off 36 balls; Brett Lee: 3-0-30-2, Peter Siddle: 4-0-32-2) by 55 runs.

South Africa Champions Vs India Champions

South Africa 210/8 in 20 overs (Jacques Synman 73 off 43 & Richard Levi 60 off 25; Harbhajan Singh 4/25) beat India 156/6 in 20 overs (Yusuf Pathan 54* off 44, Irfan Pathan 35 off 21; Vernon Philander 2/17) by 54 runs


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