Gujarat Giants beat India Capitals by three wickets in the opening game of the Legends League Cricket 2022 at Eden Gardens on Saturday, September 17.
Kevin O’Brien’s 61-ball 107 overshadowed Ashley Nurse’s quickfire 103 off 43 balls to set the tone for Gujarat to chase 180 within 18.4 overs.
Gujarat Giants won the toss and elected to bowl first. Jacques Kallis captained India Capitals in place of Gautam Gambhir, who will join the team from the next game onwards.
The Capitals began the first over with 11 runs off pacer Ashok Dinda. Opener Solomon Mire got off the mark with eight runs, including two boundaries.
However, Gujarat Giants made the breakthrough in the fourth over with KP Appanna dismissing Hamilton Masakadza (7, 3.1 overs) and Jacques Kallis (0, 3.5 overs).
While Masakadza lost his wicket with Graeme Swann taking his catch, Kallis was clean-bowled by Appanna.
Another disappointing over came by for India Capitals, as they managed just one run and lost their third wicket in the fifth over. Solomon Mire’s misfired shot off a Rayad Emrit delivery found the safe hands of Kevin O’Brien.
Dinesh Ramdin, coming in to bat at number four, helped India Capitals end the powerplay overs with a score of 33/3.
Following the dismissal of Suhail Sharma (0, 6.2 overs), Ramdin stitched a 40-run partnership off 31 balls with compatriot Ashley Nurse, until the former was caught and bowled by Thisara Perera. Ramdin’s 26-ball knock of 31 runs ended in 11.5 overs.
Perera would dismiss Rajat Bhatia for a golden duck on his next delivery as the score read 74/6 at the end of 12 overs.
Ashley Nurse carried India Capitals past 100 in 14.4 overs and reached his half-century off 26 balls in the 16th over.
Liam Plunkett, who partnered with Nurse for an innings-defining 64-run partnership, was dismissed in the 17th over as KP Appanna caught his flighted shot.
Ashley Nurse notched his first Legends League Cricket 2022 century in 41 balls, courtesy of a six against a Mitchell McClenaghan delivery in the final over of the first innings.
The West Indian all-rounder remained unbeaten on 103 off 43 balls as India Capitals finished at 179/7.
Gujarat Giants confidently began their run chase of 180 with 40 runs in 3.5 overs but lost skipper Virender Sehwag on the final ball of Mitchell Johnson’s second over.
The Giants reached fifty in the fifth over, with Kevin O’Brien stamping his authority with the bat. The Irishman would go on to score his half-century in 27 balls.
O’Brien’s 70-run partnership with Parthiv Patel for the second wicket ended in the 11th over, as Ashley Nurse bowled the latter out for 24 runs.
Guiding the Gujarat Giants past 150 in 15 overs, Kevin O’Brien reached his century in 56 balls but would lose his wicket five runs away from victory.
Needing just one run, Gujarat Giants lost the wickets of Thisara Perera (1, 17.6 overs), Elton Chigumbura (18.3 overs) and Rayad Emrit (18.4 overs) in quick succession. Still, they managed to claim a win despite the late drama.
Ashley Nurse won the Legend of the Match award for his overall performance (103 runs, one wicket and one catch), while Kevin O’Brien (107 runs) walked away with the Gamechanger of the Match award.
India Capitals will play their next match against Bhilwara Kings at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium on Wednesday, September 21. The game will begin at 7:30 PM IST.