India Capitals entered the Legends League Cricket 2022 final after a four-wicket triumph over Bhilwara Kings in the Qualifier match at the Barkatullah Khan Stadium on Sunday, October 2.
Ross Taylor’s 39-ball 84 and Ashley Nurse’s unbeaten blitzkrieg of 60 runs in 28 balls helped the Capitals chase 227 runs with three balls to spare. The duo’s efforts overshadowed Shane Watson’s half-century (65 in 39 balls) for the Bhilwara Kings.
Batting first, Bhilwara Kings lost their first wicket within the opening over. Mitchell Johnson clean-bowled the South African after he scored the game’s first boundary off the very first ball.
But going forward, it was raining runs as Shane Watson (65) struck a formidable 116-run partnership with William Porterfield for the second wicket before Rajat Bhatia dismissed the former.
Following a 33-run stand with Porterfield (59), Yusuf Pathan added 55 runs to the score alongside Rajesh Bishnoi. The senior Pathan departed for 48 runs off 24 balls in the 19th over, having guided Bhilwara Kings past 200.
Rajesh Bishnoi remained unbeaten with a cameo knock of 36 runs in 11 balls as the Kings finished with a first-innings score of 226/5 in 20 overs.
India Capitals, chasing 227, didn’t have the brightest of starts as the hard-hitting trio of captain Gautam Gambhir (1), Hamilton Masakadza (10) and Dwayne Smith (24) were dismissed in the powerplay overs.
At the end of the initial six overs, the Capitals were 56/3 with the required run rate going up to 12.21 runs per over.
Enter Ross Taylor, and the former New Zealand captain stitched a 62-run partnership with Denesh Ramdin (13) and a 58-run stand with Ashley Nurse. Having played his role in getting India Capitals past 150, Taylor was dismissed by Sudeep Tyagi for 84 runs in the 16th over.
Ashley Nurse took the baton from Ross Taylor and continued piling up runs for the Capitals. His 52-run partnership with Liam Plunkett (20 in nine balls) got the team to win the game, while the West Indian hit the winning runs with a six off Sreesanth.
Ross Taylor was adjudged the Legend of the Match for his knock of 84 runs in 39 balls.
The winner of the Eliminator between Gujarat Giants and Bhilwara Kings will face India Capitals in the Legends League Cricket 2022 final on October 5.