Sri Lanka in pursuit of a big target of 415 to win the curtain raiser in the five matches one day series against India, got off to a positive start with Dilshan and Upul Tharanga scoring 130 runs in the bowling power play scoring even better than the hosts, who made 107 in the first 15 overs.
Both Dilshan and Upul Tharanga played some exquisite strokes after Upul Thranga was given a life by Virat Kohli at back ward of point off Praveen Kumar when the left hander was batting on 10. Dilshan was in the sehwag mode, scoring at will, dispatching the Indian fast bowlers namely Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar and Ashis Nehra to all parts of the park.
With Sri Lanka well in the hunt, Dhoni the Indian captain wisely turned to his partnership breaker Suresh Raina who obliged his captain by having Upul Tharanga caught in no man’s land, stumped by his skipper for a well made 67, with the visitors on 188.The first wicket partnership was even better than sachin and Sehwag this morning who put on 153.
Tharanga who replaced Jayasuriya as the opener did justice by executing four big sixes and three boundaries and scored better than run a ball to get to 67 in 60 balls.
Sangakkara who’s been in fine nick joined Dilshan and the pair by the 35th over reached 291 for one wicket with kumar sangakkara being the aggressor. The Sri Lankan skipper simply dominated the Indian bowling from the word go.
Dilshan bating around his skipper reached his 4th one day hundred in 73 balls. Sangakkara displayed his class when made 90 runs off 43 deliveries before he holed out a catch to Ravindra jadeja at mid wicket off Praveen Kumar, with Sri Lanka losing their second wicket on 316.Sangakkara smashed ten boundaries and five massive sixes with a strike rate of 209.3.
Jayasuriya who came in at the fall of Sangakkara’s wicket was undone by a Harbajan off spinner for 5 and Sri Lanka lost her third wicket with the score on 328.Jayasuriya was guilty of being beaten in the air for Dhoni to get his second stumping victim. Dilshan who batted with great concentration threw it away when he heaved at a Harbajan top spinner to be bowled for 160 and Sri Lanka lost wicket number four in over number 40 for 339 runs on the board.
Dilshan was a class of his own. He batted with aggression and caution during his stay at the wickets in which he executed twenty boundaries and three big sixes.
India rejoiced again when Mahela Jayawardena was unnecessarily run out attempting a second run and Sri Lanka fell to the danger zone of losing 5 wickets with the score on 345.
Angelo Mathews and Thilina Kandamby had their work cut out with Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan bowling the dept overs to near accuracy. Kandamby and Mathews put on 56 for the 6th wicket; Kandamby was run out guilty of not grounding his bat as the pendulum swung India’s way with the score on 401.
The 7th wicket was scalped by India in the penultimate over yet again when Samaraweera was run out with Sri Lanka on 404 needing 11 runs to win off 6 balls .
All hopes were pinned on Mathews to see Sri Lanka through. Unfortunately Angelo was caught off a full toss by Tendulkhar in the very last over, and Indians held their nerve to win the game by just 3 runs.
The record chase was spoilt by Sri Lanka due to 3 unnecessary run outs that included the prize wickets of Jayawardena, Kandamby and Samaraweera
India go one up in the 5 match series, but one thing is for sure Sri Lanka made a match of it.
India 414 for 7 Wickets in 50 overs.
Sri Lanka 411 for 8 Wickets in 50 overs.
TM Dilshan 160
Kumar Sangakkara 90
Upul Tharanga 67
1st Session Bulletin
With illness to Lasith Malinga and injury to Muttiah Muralitheran Sri Lanka opted to pack the batting line up, with Jayasuriya slotted just ahead of Angelo Mathews, to bat at number seven.
Upul Tharanga will open the batting for the visitors with TM Dilshan. Sangakkara, Jayewardene Samaraweera and kandamby will bat up the order. Jayasuriya and Mathews at seven and eight.
Former Indian test and one day star turned commentator Ravi Sharstri had his reservations in regard to jayasuriya’s new role. He remarked “it’s like asking Krinamatcheri Sri Kanth to bat in the middle”.
India doesn’t have the luxury of Yuvraj Singh for this game due to injury; hence Virat Kohli is the replacement. Harbajan Sing and Zaheer Khan are back in the side, with Praveen Kumar as the third seamer and Ashis Nehra to open proceedings with the new ball. The Indian batting seems strong to infinity. Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambir, Kohli, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, and the freshly found Harbajan and Praveen who are no mugs at the tail end.
Sangakkara on hind sight must have got deceived by the spread of green on the pitch to invite India to bat first on a predictable belter of a pitch. Even Dhoni had he won the toss stated that he too would have bowled first. Good toss to lose though, as both Sehwag and Tendulkar went on the rampage simply thrashing the Sri Lankan seam attack.
Both Sehwag and Tendulkhar played practically every stroke in the book. They cut, pulled, hooked, went straight down the ground, drove on the up, flicked, lofted and chipped to great precession to reach 107 in the bowling power play of 15 overs. Tendulkhar reached his 92nd fifty with nine hits to the ropes, while Shewag reached his half ton in just 36 deliveries. Boundaries and sixes simply went out of fashion to state the least, with all the bowlers taken to the cleaners.
Much to the delight of Sri Lanka Dilhara Fernando managed to swing one back at Tendulkhar to have him bowled for 69 with India losing their first wicket on 153.MS Dhoni who promoted himself to number 3, went wild with a hapless Sri Lankan bowling attack minus Murali and Malinga, to score a brisk half ton in just 34 balls. Sehwag reached his 12th one day hundred in 66 deliveries and India with the score on 289 for one wicket in 34th over looked well on course for a score in excess of 450 runs with the batting power play still at hand.
Sri Lanka skipper Sangakkara had no idea on how to control the on slaughter dished out by Dhoni and sehwag, playing with so much authority setting new standards and targets for one day cricket in the future.
Fortune smiled at last for the visitors when during the power play overs sehwag was dismissed by Welegedera caught off a leading edge caught at extra cover by Dilshan for 146 runs, with India on 309 for 2 Wickets. From a Sri Lankan perspective the 156 run partnership comes to an end. Sehwag in his classy knock executed 17 boundaries six sixes with a super strike rate of 143.13 in 102 balls.
India’s mind set on reaching 450 runs came to a standstill when Sri Lanka stuck a double blow when Dilhara Fernando managed to deceive the Indian skipper with a slower ball to have him caught by Mathews at short extra cover for 72 which he made in 53 balls executing seven boundaries and three sixes with India on 311 for 3 wickets.
India lost another with the score on 325 when kulasekera had Gautam Gambir caught behind by Sangakkara for 11.Sri Lanka displayed poor catching abilities yet again when Upul Tharanga dropped Suresh Raina, while Thilan Samaraweera paid tribute to Harbajan Singh before the batsman opend his account, dropping the simplest of catches. A poor passage of play by these two fielders would be an understatement.
Much to the delight of Samaraweera and Tharanga, both Raina and Harbajan going for quick runs were dismissed cheaply. Raina for 16 and Harbajan for11. India after looking good to get to the magical figure of 450 was all of a sudden 355 for 6 in the 45th over.
India in their allotted 50 overs recorded their highest score in one day cricket, by reaching 417 for 7 wickets. India will be very pleased with their performance, put into bat and recording the highest ever one day score, you can’t ask for anything better can you ?