Warne’s Warriors trump Sachin’s  Blasters in All-Stars opener

NEW YORK :  The chants of ‘Sachin, Sachin’ filled the air but Sachin Tendulkar could not trump Shane Warne’s magic as the Indian icon’s Blasters went down to the Australian legend’s Warriors in the first ‘Cricket All Stars’ Twenty20 here.

Tendulkar was the undisputed favourite for the largely Asian crowd at a baseball stadium here but it was Warne, who weaved some old-time magic to lead his side to a six-wicket win.

Set a target of 141, the Warriors romped home with 16 balls to spare after Ricky Ponting and Kumar Sangakkara hit 81 runs between them.

Shane Warne snared three wickets, including that of Tendulkar and the legendary Brian Lara. For the Blasters, Virender Sehwag hit the series’ first half-century which came off just 22 deliveries.

Electing to field after winning the toss, the Warriors were given a rollicking start by Tendulkar and Sehwag, much to the delight of an expatriate crowd that filled the stands. Together, the former Indian batsman raked in 85 runs in a mere 48 deliveries.

However, the rest of the star-studded line-up failed to come good and the team ended with 140 for 8. For Warriors, Warne showed that he had lost none of the famed magic with figures of 3/20 in his four overs.

In reply, Ponting (48 not out) and Sangakkara (41) steered the Warriors home after a top-order collapse.

Overall, Tendulkar and Warne’s attempts to introduce cricket to the Americans worked quite well on debut.

“The whole idea of Cricket All Stars is that, to try to get as many nations together to celebrate this. It was electrifying,” Tendulkar said.

“I thought it was fantastic, the atmosphere was amazing,” said Warne after the match. The music, crowd, atmosphere — it was nothing not to like. How could you not enjoy that experience today? It was fantastic,” added Warne.

The nearly 36,000 strong spectators erupted with a deafening roar as Tendulkar and Sehwag walked onto the field to begin their innings after Warne won the toss and decided to field first.

Shouts of ‘Sachin, Sachin’ and ‘Viru Viru’ reverberated throughout the stadium for the entire duration that they were on the field.

Tendulkar thanked the cheering crowd for the support, saying during the post-match presentation that “the first match has been really special. We thoroughly enjoyed being here. New York, you were brilliant. Houston and LA, you are going to find it difficult to match them.” (PTI)


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