Lankans humble Indians
Strengthen chances of entering the finals:
The Sri Lankan cricketers continued their winning ways and
strengthened their chances of entering the best of three Commonwealth
Bank Tri series finals when they beat India by 51 runs here at the Gabba
under lights yesterday.
After the Lankan batsmen obliged, the bowlers and fielders played
their roles to perfection and this victory should spur them on to more
victories. Nuwan Kulasekera was the player of the match.
When India began their unlikely chase for victory, they were off to a
shock start losing Virender Sehwag for no score. Sehwag cut a ball from
Lasith Malinga only to see Nuwan Kulasekera dashing from third man to
deep point to take what was going to be a match winning catch.
Every time Sachin Tendulkar walks out to bat, the Indians expect him
to make that elusive 100th 100. He played some of his trade mark cuts
and drives and when he seemed to be settling down, played on to the hard
working Nuwan Kulasekera for 22 in 23 with 3 fours with the score on 38.
Gautam Gambhir who came in one drop was threatening scoring 29 in 34
with 4 fours when a sudden rush of blood saw him move down the wicket
and Kulasekera lured him to steer to Thisara Perera in the gully. 54 for
3. Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina then set about getting the Indian
innings back on twice by Dinesh Chandimal at 15 and 31 off Thissara
Perera and Lasith Malinga.
But with the total on 146, Mahroof broke the stand when he got Raina
to lob one to Thirimanne for 32 off 55 with one boundary. Virat Kohli
went next caught by Kulasekera running in from mid on off Perera for 66
in 83 with 2 fours. 172 for 5.
In the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the middle order lacked
muscle. Kulasekera who was always in the picture then got Ravi Jadeja to
play on for 17 at 191 and the Indian innings was in tatters.
An excellent opening stand of 95 runs between Mahela Jayawardena and
Tillakeratne Dilshan set the platform of a challenging Sri Lankan score
of 289 for 6 in 50 overs.
Both openers batted sensibly, pushing the singles and reaching the
boundary when the opportunities came along. Dilshan was once in a
punishing mood. Jayawardena too was on the lookout for runs and together
they did not let the bowlers dictate.
With just five runs short of an opening stand of 100, Jayawardena
when he looked good for another 50, attempting to pull was caught for 45
in 55 balls with 2 fours.
Nine runs later Dilshan completed a half century and was caught
behind attempting to cut for 51 in 72 balls with 5 fours and a six.
Kumar Sangakkara from whom much was expected to keep the momentum going
failed again when an intended pull shot flew to Sachin Tendulkar at deep
fine leg. He made 8.
Dinesh Chandimal was once again in the runs with 38 in 49. But the
best two knocks came from lefty hander Lahiru Thirimanne and vice
captain Angelo Mathews.
Stylish Thirimanne played some eye catching strokes and in making his
first half century in this series was out for 62 in 62 with 6 fours.
Mathews was once again in the runs with a hard hit unbeaten 49 in 37
balls with 4 fours and a big six.
Matthews and Farveez Mahroof put on 24 runs in the last two overs.
Sri Lanka as anticipated went in with the same team that helped them
thrash Australia, while India who were without regular skipper Mahendra
Singh Dhoni, penalized for a slow over rate made three changes.
In came Virender Sehwag who missed the previous game as captain along
with wicket keeper Parthiv Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin. Out in
addition to Dhoni were Zaheer Khan and Rohit Sharma.
Sri Lankan skipper Mahel Jaywardena won the toss on a wicket that
looked ideal for batting and in doing so said he was looking to put a
big score on the board and put pressure on the Indians who suffered a
humiliating defeat against Australia in the previous game.
Brisbane is known as the Sunshine City, but it rained heavily this
morning. It remained gloomy, but the sun peeped through and when match
starting time came around the sun was shining. But there was a bit of
cloud remaining and the light on the ground were switched on early.
M. Jayawardene c Sehwag b Pathan 45
T. Dilshan c Patel b Ashwin 51
K. Sangakkara c Tendulkar b Yadav 8
D. Chandimal b Pathan 38
L. Thirimanne c Raina b Ashwin 62
A. Mathews not out 49
T. Perera b Raina 10
F. Maharoof not out 4
Extras (w18 nb1, lb2, b1) 22
Total (for six wickets; 50 overs) 289
Fall of wickets: 1-95 (Jayawardene), 2-104 (Dilshan), 3-124 (Sangakkara),
4-195 (Chandimal) 5-244 (Thirimanne) 6-265 (Perera)
Bowling: Vinay Kumar 8-1-48-0 (1nb), Pathan 10-0-54-2 (4w), Yadav 8-0-58-1 (2w),
Jadeja 10-0-43-0 (1w), Ashwin 10-0-50-2 (4w),
Sehwag 2-0-9-0, Raina 1-0-10-1 (1w), Kohli 1-0-14-0 (6w)
S. Tendulkar b Kulasekara 22
V. Sehwag c Kulasekara b Malinga 0
G. Gambhir c Perera b Kulasekara 29
V. Kohli c Kulasekara b Perera 66
S. Raina c Thirimanne b Maharoof 32
R. Jadeja b Kulasekara 17
I. Pathan c & b Perera 47
P. Patel c Malinga b Perera 4
R. Ashwin c Sangakkara b Malinga 5
Vinay Kumar c (sub) b Perera 0
U. Yadav not out 0
Extras (w9 lb7) 16
Total (for 10 wickets: 45.1 overs) 238
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Sehwag), 2-38 (Tendulkar), 3-54 (Gambhir) 4-146 (Raina) 5-172 (Kohli),
6-191 (Jadeja), 7-215 (Patel) 8-232 (Ashwin), 9-233 (Vinay Kumar), 10-238 (Pathan)
Bowling: Malinga 8-0-55-2 (2w), Kulasekara 9-0-40-3 (4w), Maharoof 10-1-52-1,
Mathews 4-0-12-0, Perera 7.1-0-37-4 (2w), Herath 7-0-35-0 (1w)