Houston, Nov 12 (IANS) A whirlwind innings from Kumar Sangakkara coupled with a disciplined bowling performance helped Warne’s Warriors beat Sachin’s Blasters by 57 runs in the second match of the Cricket All-Stars Series at the Minute Maid Park here on Thursday.
Sangakkara smashed 70 runs off just 30 deliveries to help post a challenging total of 262/5 in their 20 overs. Andrew Symonds (4/70) and Saqlain Mushtaq (2/12) then spearheaded the Warriors’ bowling attack as the Blasters could only manage 205/8.
The Warriors, who had won the first match of the three-game series by six wickets on November 7, have thus taken an unassailable 2-0 lead. The final match is scheduled to be played in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Electing to field on winning the toss, Blasters’ captain Sachin Tendulkar was left to rue his decision as Michael Vaughan and Matthew Hayden gave the Warriors innings a blazing start. The duo scored around 10 runs an over, smashing Shoaib Akhtar and Glenn McGrath all around the ground.
The rapidly rising run rate forced Sachin to introduce Graeme Swann into the attack. The move paid off as Vaughan was soon trapped leg before by his former England teammate. Hayden was bowled by McGrath soon after while trying to pull a delivery from just outside the off stump.
But former South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis and Sangakkara added 91 runs between them to put the Warriors on course for a big total.
After Kallis had smashed a Virender Sehwag delivery to Muttiah Muralitharan in the deep, Sangakkara kept up the good work with Ricky Ponting in ominious form at the other end. Ponting smashed 41 runs off a mere 16 deliveries with five boundaries and three sixes before being sent back by Lance Klusener.
The Blasters’ chase suffered an early setback when Sehwag tried to go after an outgoing delivery from Ajit Agarkar, only to see the ball take the bottom edge before crashing into the stumps.
The Blasters continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. Kallis got rid of Ganguly before Sachin and West Indies legend Brian Lara tried to stage a fightback. But Saqlain bowled Sachin with one that did not turn much after pitching to bring the 37-run partnership to an end.
Saqlain got rid of former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene in his next over before Symonds dismissed Lara and Klusener to put the Blasters in trouble. Shaun Pollock and Graeme Swann tried to stage a comeback with a 62-run partnership, but it did not prove to be enough in the end.