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Sangakkara's blast wraps up the series for Warriors

Ricky Ponting scored a 16-ball 41 during the second T20 against Sachin's Blasters in Houston.
Ricky Ponting scored a 16-ball 41 during the second T20 against Sachin's Blasters in Houston.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Warne’s Warriors 262-5 (Sangakkara 70) beat
Sachin’s Blasters 205-8 (Pollock 55) by 57 runs
Second All-Stars Twenty20, Minute Maid Park, Houston

Powered by a rapid fifty from Kumar Sangakkara and important knocks from Jacques Kallis and Ricky Ponting, Warne’s Warriors piled on 262 runs and went on to defeat Sachin’s Blasters by 57 runs in Houston to seal the Cricket All-Stars series victory.

The Blasters won the toss and they opted to field first.

Michael Vaughan (30) hit a four in the first over and received a life when Glenn McGrath (1-28) dropped one off his own bowling in the next over.

Vaughan struck three boundaries and a six in the next three overs. Graeme Swann (1-40) trapped Vaughan LBW in the sixth over as the Warriors raced to 51 for one in the powerplay.

Matthew Hayden (32) took McGrath apart with a couple of sixes before he was castled with the next delivery.

Sangakkara (70) struck two sixes and a boundary as Kallis (45) accounted for one six taking the Warriors to 100 for two at the halfway stage.

Sangakkara hit two more fours off Shoaib Akhtar (0-48) and Kallis followed it up with a couple of boundaries and a six in the next over from Lance Klusener (2-45).

Kallis hit two more sixes before he holed out to deep mid-wicket off Virender Sehwag (1-19). Sangakkara completed his fifty in just 23 balls with a huge six and followed it up with two boundaries and a six in the 15th over.

The Warriors had scored 78 runs between overs 11 and 15.

Ponting (41) announced his arrival with two sixes and as many boundaries, plundering 21 runs from Pollock’s second over. He topped it off with another six and a four in the next over.

Klusener provided some respite for the Blasters when he struck twice in the 18th over to account for Ponting and Sangakkara. Ponting edged one to the keeper while Sangakkara holed out to deep extra cover.

Andrew Symonds (19 not out) and Jonty Rhodes (18 not out) combined to score 34 runs from the final two overs to take the total to 262 for five in the quota of 20 overs. 162 runs came in the last 10 overs, making for a fantastic batting display.

None of the Blasters bowlers had a single digit economy rate.

Sehwag (16) got the chase underway with a couple of sixes in the first two overs but was castled by Ajit Agarkar (1-40). Sourav Ganguly (12) struck a six and a four before Kallis (1-14) dismissed him with a short delivery that was caught by the wicket-keeper.

The Blasters managed to score 49 for two in the powerplay phase. Sachin Tendulkar (33) changed gears and smashed Agarkar for two sixes and a boundary as Brian Lara (19) got underway with a couple of boundaries off Shane Warne’s first over.

Saqlain Mushtaq (2-12) ended Tendulkar’s stay when a sliding delivery struck the pads and rattled the stumps. At the halfway mark, the Blasters needed 175 runs to win the match.

Mushtaq accounted for Jayawardene (5) in his second over by trapping him plumb in front. Lara attempted to smash Symonds (4-70) over mid-wicket but the ball sneaked through and rattled the stumps.

With the required rate climbing to more than 25 runs an over, Klusener (21) was waging a lone fight. However, Shaun Pollock (55) joined in on the act with a couple of sixes.

Symonds ended Klusener’s resistance as the Blasters were struggling at 130 for six in the 16th over. Pollock smashed five sixes and a boundary in the last three overs to power himself to a 21-ball fifty.

In the final over of the game, Symonds dismissed Pollock and Akhtar as the Blasters ended up with 205 for eight in their 20 overs. Despite going for 70 runs in his four overs, Symonds was the most successful bowler with four wickets.

Mushtaq picked up two and was the most economical bowler in the match. Agarkar and Kallis had one wicket each.

Sangakkara was named as the man of the match for his blazing knock.

This 57-run victory gave the Warriors an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. The third and final game of the series will be played in Los Angeles on 14th November.

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