Cricket in the Legends League: Manipal Tigers win, but fall short of the playoffs

Manipal Tigers were eliminated from the Legends League Cricket (LLC) on Saturday at the Barkatullah Khan Stadium due to Ricardo Powell’s almost flawless performance, which ultimately cost them dearly.

The last league game of the year between the India Capitals and the Tigers turned out to be an incredible thriller, demonstrating once again the high level of competition in the competition.

Ironically, after winning the game by three wickets, the Tigers retired. This is since although finishing with the same amount of points (5) as the Gujarat Giants, their lower net run rate caused them to place last in the four-team standings. The Tigers finished with a net run rate of -0.467, compared to the Giants’ -0.366.

For the playoffs, only the top three clubs are eligible. The Capitals and the Bhilwara Kings will compete for a spot in the championship game in the Qualifier on Sunday. The Qualifier’s loser will take against the Giants in the Eliminator game on Monday. In Jodhpur, both games will be played.

Powell, a former West Indies batsman, used his power to the utmost as he smacked fours and sixes almost at will while attempting to reach a 184-run goal. The Tigers needed to score the last 17 runs off 10 balls when they were 167/2 in 16.4 overs to beat the Giants’ net run rate. The Tigers seemed to be on track with Powell at full tilt and a set Corey Anderson at the opposite end.

But the game unexpectedly changed. Anderson was the first to be dismissed (39 off 21 balls), then Powell followed a few balls later. The big-hitter from the Caribbean scored 96 off only 52 bowls, including eight fours and seven sixes. The Tigers needed 11 runs off of 3 balls at that point. The fresh hitters in the crease couldn’t handle the workload. Even though they finally prevailed on the game’s last ball, it was already too late. Earlier, the Capitals registered a difficult 183/2 on the board, fueled by three strong half-centuries.

Hamilton Masakadza (60 off 35 balls), Denesh Ramdin (64 off 51 balls), and Ross Taylor (51 not out off 31 balls), who was also captaining the Capitals on Saturday, struck fifties. Masakadza, who is 39 years old, scored 51 of the Capitals’ amazing 58 runs without loss after six overs due to his domination at the wicket.