Sehwag misses but India hits
A solid 99 not out from Sehwag and an impressive bowling performance took India to a 6 wicket win over the hosts Sri Lanka. The thumping win was special as India won with a bonus point. India lie second in the table behind New Zealand on the basis of net run rate. The tri series has been thrown wide open by this rseult.
Electing to bat first in breezy conditions of Dambulla, Sri Lanka got off to a disastrous start. Upul Tharanga was bowled of the first ball off the innings. When sangakarra was accounted for by Nehra, it looked like it was going to be a tough task ahead for Sri Lanka. With Jayawaradane falling for 4, a lot of responsibilty fell on samarweera and Dilshan. Samarweera scratched around for 30 balls before falling to Ishant Sharma. Dilshan tried to stay on the crease but his attacking instincts failed him for once. His slog sweep went straight to Rohit Sharma. Before getting out he had scored 45 runs of 62 balls which included 5 boundaries. Angelo Mathews followed him and so did Kapugedara. It was left to Suraj Randiv to play an entertaining knock of 43 to lend some respectability to the Sri lankan total. Sri Lanka ended their innings for 170 runs.
India got off to a slow start. At best Karthik was uncomfortable. His misery ended when he slashed at a short and wide delivery from Mathews to third man. He went for a 30 ball 10. Virat Kohli couldn’t survive for long and edged one to Sangakarra to take a beautiful catch. Rohit Sharma plants his leg on off and middle and got hit just above the knee roll. India looked in trouble and Sri Lanka seemed like making a match out of it. But Sehwag was still there. Till now he had helped himself to a couple of boundaries. His partnership with Raina took India to the score of 91. Sehwag displayed a lot of restraint in his shot making, restricting himself to punishing bad balls only.
Raina has a waeakness with short balls but by no stretch of imagination Fernando’s long hob was worth giving a wicket. It was there to be buried in the stands but he top edged it to square leg in the hands of Tharanga, who dispalyed his juggling skills before taking the catch. Sri Lanka had a glimmer of hope. But India’s best finisher and captain cool M S Dhoni combined with sehwag to take India to a comfortable victory. Sehwag hit a number of boundaries to hasten the end. It looke like Sehwag was getting to his 11th hundred but a no ball from Suraj Randiv of the last ball spoiled it for Sehwag.
But the end result was India had won by six wickets and Sehwag had once again single handedly decimated the Sri Lankan attack.