Sri Lanka snatch a thrilling five run win
CRICKET: Sri Lanka put up a magnificent performance as they
snatched a thrilling five run victory from the jaws of defeat after
Kumar Sangakkara hammered a classic one hundred in the second one day
international against India played at the Madhavrao Scindia Stadium in
Rajkot here on Sunday.
The Indians were cruising along at one stage following two powerful
half centuries from the master batsman Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav
The two Indian stalwarts looked like taking the game away from the
Lankans with a century partnership from just 122 deliveries after they
had been reduced to 29 for 2 in the fourth over of the innings.
But the Lankans fought back magnificently and picked up wickets at
regular intervals during a superb late rally.
They never gave up hopes and believed in themselves as they turned a
certain defeat into a memorable victory. India who were well placed at
129 for 3 suddenly found themselves in a spot of trouble needing 18 runs
from the last three overs.
This was following some accurate bowling from Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan
Kulasekera and Lasith Malinga who came back strongly after having
conceded fifty runs from his first five overs.
In fact Maharoof bowled a fantastic penultimate over conceding just
the three runs while keeping the more aggressive Dhoni out of the
India began the final over needing eleven runs and still had hopes
with Dhoni in good form and striking the ball well.
But the more experienced Sanath Jayasuriya lived upto expectations
and delivered the last over while conceding only a boundary and a single
to seal an exciting victory.
Earlier Tendulkar simply carried on his excellent form after a
successful series against the West Indies by hammering 54 from 51 balls
with nine boundaries.
Ganguly went on to hit a top score of 62 off 79 balls with the help
of one six and half a dozen of boundaries. Both made heavy use of the
power play overs and set the pace for an easy victory.
Dhoni was dismissed in the penultimate ball of the final over after
he had hit a solid 48 with Farveez Maharoof holding on to a superb
running catch at deep mid on under tremendous pressure.
This was after Kumar Sangakkara had completed his sixth one day
international century as Sri Lanka recovered from a disappointing start
to post a challenging 257 for 8 from their 50 overs after being sent
into bat by Indian captain Rahul Dravid.
The stylish left hander played the sheet anchor role after they had
slumped to 58 for 4 at one stage. He consolidated the innings quite
beautifully and re build the innings with the support of Tillekeratne
Dilshan returned to form with a fighting half century as he plundered
56 from just 65 balls with seven hits to the ropes. Together with
Sangakkara the pair successfully launched a counter attack which pushed
the home side to a great extent.
However the dismissal of Dilshan in the 36th over of the innings put
a lot of pressure on Sangakkara who was left with the responsibility of
carrying Sri Lanka to a strong position. He lived upto that reputation
and carried his bat almost until the end having played one of the finest
knocks seen at this venue.
Sangakkara's effort came on par with the great Vivian Richards of the
West Indies who also hit an unbeaten 110 against India at this same
venue in 1988. His knock was the third highest individual score at
Rajkot behind New Zealander Nathan Astle's 120 in 1999 and Virender
Sehwag's 114 against the West Indies in 2002.
Sangakkara and Dilshan also set up a new ground record putting on 108
runs for the fifth wicket which easily erased the previous best of 66
runs set by another Sri Lankan combination of Arjuna Ranatunga and
Asanka Gurusinha during the Nehru Cup tournament way back in 1989.
Sangakkara really accelerated the scoring rate during the latter
stages with his second fifty coming from just 46 deliveries. He took on
the Indian bowling almost single handedly and launched a calculated
attack before making his exit in the penultimate over of the innings.
But by that time Sri Lanka had crossed the two hundred and fifty run
mark with all rounder Farveez Maharoof also making a significant
In fact Sangakkara and Maharoof simply tore the Indian attack during
their seventh wicket stand of 61 runs with their fifty run partnership
coming from just 44 balls.
The pair however departed in successive deliveries with opening
bowler claiming four wickets for 50 runs from his nine overs only the
second time a bowler had picked up a four wicket haul at this venue.
Sri Lanka left out paceman Nuwan Zoysa and brought in Nuwan
Kulasekera from the eleven that played in the first one day
international in Kolkata on Thursday.
U. Tharanga c Tendulkar b Sreesanth 11
S. Jayasuriya c Dhoni b Patel 9
M. Atapattu lbw b Patel 15
K. Sangakkara c Sehwag b Patel 110
M. Jayawardene c Dhoni b Sreesanth 4
T. Dilshan b Harbhajan 56
R. Arnold lbw b Tendulkar 7
F. Maharoof c Karthik b Patel 17
M. Bandara not out 3
N. Kulasekara not out 4
Extras (lb14, nb3, w4) 21
TOTAL (for eight wickets) 257
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-16, 2-31, 3-53, 4-58, 5-166, 6-188, 7-249, 8-249.
BOWLING: Patel 9-0-49-4, Sreesanth 10-1-39-2, Ganguly 2-0-14-0,
Harbhajan 10-0-41-1, Kumble 10-1-59-0, Tendulkar 9-0-41-1.
R. Uthappa c Jayawardene b Maharoof 7
S. Ganguly c Sangakkara b Malinga 62
R. Dravid b Maharoof 5
S. Tendulkar st Sangakkara b Bandara 54
V. Sehwag c Sangakkara b Bandara 19
M. Dhoni c Maharoof b Jayasuriya 48
D. Karthik lbw b Malinga 31
H. Singh c Jayawardene b Maharoof 2
A. Kumble run out 2
S. Sreesanth not out 0
Extras (b1, lb5, nb7, w9) 22
TOTAL (for nine wickets) 252
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-14, 2-29, 3-129, 4-154, 5-169, 6-235, 7-241, 8-248, 9-252.
BOWLING: Malinga 10-0-75-2, Maharoof 10-0-42-3, Kulasekara 10-0-48-0,
Bandara 10-0-36-2, Jayasuriya 9-0-38-1, Dilshan 1-0-7-0.