India chasing relatively an easy target of 240 got off to a flier as expected. Shewag smashed nine boundaries in no time and in the 7th over the score looked threatening with Shewag on 44 off 28 balls and India on 55.
Tendulkhar was a spectator during this on slaught. Welegedera then stuck a big blow having the Indian skipper caught at extra cover by Dilshan for 44, in which Shewag smashed nine breath taking boundaries. Malinga was carted all over the place so was Kulasekera. Around seven P.M we noticed the first sign of dew adding misery to Sri Lanka, already smarting from their very poor batting display.
India during the bowling power play of 15 overs got to 101 runs for one wicket in comparison to their opponents total of 122 for 1 but, what’s pertinent is, that India is chasing and they know their target. Sangakkara has no choice he has to bowl his opponents out, after he lost a golden opportunity being in a commanding and dominating stage, when batting in the early overs.
With India so comfortable on 127 for one wicket with Tendulkhar on 48 Gambir on 32, the left handed Gambir who executed some great strokes was dismissed by suraj Randiv who had him caught and bowled off a leading edge.
Here’s a teaser, Sri Lanka lost their way sitting pretty on 165 for one in the 23rd over, the Indian’s are 129 for two wickets, and will they make those cardinal errors with Sri Lankan bowlers bowling a tighter length and looking for wickets. Here’s the equation it’s Tendulkhar and Yuvraj at the wickets.
Tendulkhar and Yuvraj played very sensible cricket, not getting overawed by the rest of the batting in the hut. Yuvraj played well for his 23, but nicked a Welegedera, delivery to Sangakkara to give Sri Lanka their 3rd wicket with India on 169.
Karthick who replaced Dhoni made amends for whatever folly the selectors might have observed in his wicket keeping ability. He also made sure that no one noticed the missing link of Dhony with the willow. Batting at number five he even master minded the master himself, Sachin Tendulkhar to get into an attacking mood.
Yes team India win easily by seven wickets, to go two, one in the five match series which they richly deserve, while the visitors will have plenty on their head, starting with the performance of their very ordinary middle order, minus Angelo Mathews.
Players, in the likes Kapugedera and Kandamby need to up their levels at the International arena. Plenty of young hopefuls are knocking at the door hence; make sure that selectors don’t look for other options. One new option that worked for Sri Lanka in the spin department was Randeev.
Sri Lanka will not only check their hyphopola, parabola theory of the six five combination, which in fact was proved fatal in the past, leaving to others doing the job when, once you’re in command and batting with 165 runs on the board and nine wickets in hand.
Think seriously about improvement in the middle order. The bowling options with Mendis against a top batting side like India and Kulasekera not settling into a rhythm, on pitches that don’t tolerate width.
Malinga will be disappointed and so will Mendis, he needs to work hard on his variations, to be competitive at this level. In fairness to Mendis the ball was slippery and difficult to grip, but this is cricket at the highest level.
Let’s hope Jayewardene, gets back his run making ways, otherwise the results in the remainder of the series will be inevitable.
Sri Lanka 239 all out in 44.3 Overs
India in 243 for 3 wickets in 42.4
SR Tendulkhar 96 not out
Virendra Shewag 44
Dinesh Karthick 36 not out