Warriors win third T20 to claim All-Stars series sweep

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Los Angeles, Nov 15 (IANS) Warne’s Warriors completed a 3-0 series sweep against Tendulkar’s Blasters with a pulsating four-wicket win in the third T20 match of the Cricket All-Stars Series here.

Chosing to bat after winning the toss, skipper Sachin Tendulkar led from the front scoring a stroke-filled knock of 56 runs to post a strong total of 219 for five in 20 overs. Tendulkar was helped by his former opening partner Sourav Ganguly (50) in posting a big score at the Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

Warriors overhauled the target on the penultimate ball of the match, losing six wickets. Their batting performance was spearheaded by Kumar Sangakkara (42), Ricky Ponting (43) and Jacques Kallis (47).

Just as in the first T20 match of the series, the Tendulkar-Sehwag pair got the team to a rapid start, hitting a 23-ball 55-run partnership. After Virender Sehwag’s (27) dismissal, Tendulkar showed no signs of stopping, striking a 74-run partnership with Mehela Jayawardene (41) off just 34 balls.

Both of them were then dismissed in quick succession, but Ganguly showed his vintage form and together with Carl Hooper (33 not out) ensured a big score with a 86-run stand off 51 balls.

Spinner Daniel Vettori (3/33) put the brakes on Blaster’s scoring. He was assisted by Courtney Walsh (1/41) and Andrew Symonds (1/33).

Chasing 220, Warriors made the worst possible start with Michael Vaughan getting bowled off a Curtly Ambrose delivery.

Andrew Symonds also departed after a quick-fire 31, followed by Matthew Hayden (12) to reduce the Warriors to 52/3.

Sangakkara and Jonty Rhodes (17) then steadied the innings and helped the team cross the 100-run mark.

But they were still far behind in the run-rate and were dismissed in quick succession trying to up the ante.

Kallis and Ponting then blasted 88 runs off just 37 balls in a superb sixth-wicket stand to the doorstep of a win. Kallis was out with three runs still needed of as many balls.

The formalities were completed by skipper Shane Warne who lofted a six to seal the win.

Swann (2/21) was the pick of the Blasters bowlers, with Curtly Ambrose (1/45), Hooper (1/37) and Sehwag (1/12) grabbing a wicket each.

Brief scores: Sachin’s Blasters 219/5 in 20 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 56, Sourav Ganguly 50, Mahela Jayawardene 41; Daniel Vettori 3/33); Warne’s Warriors 224/6 in 19.5 overs (Jacques Kallis 47, Ricky Ponting 43 not out, Kumar Sangakkara 42; Graeme Swann 2/21)

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