Ind Vs Sri, 19-02-2008

Who doesn’t enjoy tense matches?! Especially when your team ends up on the winning side?!!

Yesterday was a holiday in my ongoing exams, and the first thing i did after waking up at around 9 was to turn on the TV! The two Srilankan wickets had already fallen by then leaving them struggling at 6-2. Then came the long partnership between Sangakkara n skipper Jayawardena. The run rate was slow and with little acceleration at then end Srilankans were restricted to 238. Of course the highlight of that innings were the two stupid run-outs at the non-striker end with the bowler getting a hand on two fantastic straight drives from Sangakkara!! Two in an innings was unbelievable. Of course Jayasuriya made the elementary mistake of holding the bat in his front hand and the skipper was backing up a little two much. These really had a impact on the game. Sangakkara’s magnificent century certainly helped in getting Srilanka to a modest score but did not help his wicket-keeping!! He looked terribly weary and did put down atleast a couple of chances!

The Indian innings did not get off to a good start either with sachin being out second ball, bowled by a fantastic delivery from Malinga! Then after 39-3 came the return of ‘Batman’ as TOI has put it. Yuvi played some fantastic shots as Ravi Shastri kept repeating “He is on a different level altogether!” Most of his runs came through boundaries with a huge six over mid-wicket against Jayasuriya. Rohit Sharma kept him company. He too is in good nick this series. However, he must take a few lessons from his captain andlearn to put a price on his wicket! His cannon shot off Murali was gobbled down at mid-wicket with 99 on board! Murali had little impact on the game. He bowled well esp. to Dhoni but was taken for runs and could manage to take wickets. Dhoniplayed one of his most unusual innings with not a single ball going past the boundary. Yuvi was out to a yorker from veteran Vaas which could have been a deciding wicket. Pathan looked comfortable at his old batting position and played superbly till a rash shot saw his end. Pravin Kumar was there only a short while. Bhajji , too, was out soon but not before he had asked umpire Peter Parker to take off his hat!! Ishant had to survive a couple of deliveries from Malinga. But there was little tension with Dhoni still there, though still suffering from the hamstring. A controversial wide and a quick run double saw India home with 2 wickets remaining!

Overall an exciting match and if you missed it, you did miss one of Yuvi’s great innings and India’s successful chases in some time…

As for the next match, Dhoni will be tempted to play the extra batsman against the Aussies. Piyush Chawla should be given a look in and with Yuvi’s return to form, a question still remains about Sehwag.

But with Srilanka facing a uphill task to get into the finals, we should see some experimentation as the series progresses…

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