Melbourne, Feb 9 : In a touching gesture, Cricket legends on Sunday came together for a noble cause as the Bushfire Cricket Bash raised more than 7.7 million dollars for the communities devastated by the fires that have ravaged Australia for months.
The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh, Yuvraj Singh and Wasim Akram were present on the occasion, as Ricky Ponting XI beat Gilchrist XI by one run at Melbourne's Junction Oval, according to Cricket Australia's official website.
Batting first from Ricky Ponting XI, West Indian legend Lara stroked a series of lofted cover drives and straight drives, including two sixes and scored a stylish 30 not out before retiring to give another batsman a chance in the star-studded Bushfire Bash. Captain Ricky Ponting came to bat after Justin Langer's wicket and hit an entertaining 26 from 14 balls as his team made 104 for five from their 10 overs.
However, the highlight of the day came in between innings, when Sachin Tendulkar faced an over from Australia''s star all rounder Ellyse Perry and Annabel Sutherland (three balls apiece). The Little Master gracefully flicked his first ball through fine leg for four. He said while walking up to the pitch, it was the first time in five years that he was picking up a bat and the 46-year-old ended up hitting a four, off the first ball he faced.
Tendulkar is in Melbourne as coach of the team led by former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, whose team were up against former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist. Earlier, Perry had thrown a challenge to Tendulkar on Saturday via a video message tweeted by the Australian women's team. Sachin, in turn, had accepted the challenge.
In the run chase, Adam Gilchrist smacked a six off the first ball in the run chase before being knocked over by Aussie Rules great Luke Hodge. After that, Shane Watson slammed Wasim Akram and company with a spectacular 30 from nine balls. But despite a valiant effort from the Gilchrist XI, Ponting's side won by one run. "Thanks to the incredible generosity from Australia and around the globe, we've raised over 7.7 million Australian dollar to support communities and families impacted by the recent bushfires", Cricket Australia tweeted after the game.
Many fundraising events have been going on, since the blazes began in September. They left at least 30 people dead and thousands of homes destroyed, with many of the fires only brought under control in recent days after torrential rain swept across the eastern Australia. (UNI)