Series Level 1-1
just couple of days back, I wrote about India winning its opening match against the Sri Lankans, the home side has managed to pull off a brilliant victory in the second ODI.
India in Sri Lanka ODI Series - 2nd ODI, India winning the toss and deciding to bat at Hambantota, the same venue with the same wind factor affecting the sides. Once again things looked well for India when they started off really well and they raised to 31 for no loss in quick time with just three overs bowled. The new comer Isuru Udana’s first ODI over of his Intl career went a bit costly, the Sri Lankan captain decided to give the ball to the man with the golden arm Perera. Sehwag struggled a bit and found hard to hit perera, the same over saw Perera taking the wicket of Sehwag, a brilliant return catch by perera on his own bowling, sehwag out for 15 runs, the first break through for the sri lanka. All hopes again on man with the magic touch Virat Kohli, but this time all hopes failed as he walked back dismissed for just a run, again it was perera who provided the home team with the second wicket and the Indian scored card showed 33/2. Rohit sharma as usual looked a bit casual, when he chopped the ball onto his off stump loosing his wicket for a duck, his poor run with the bat still continues, This time it was Mathews taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma. Suresh Raina would not have thought he would need to bat so soon, the situation demanded a partnership with Gautam Gambhir who looked solid at the other end, but Raina did not last long, Perera again joining the party picking his third wicket for none. India looked certainly in danger when the Indian captain joined in with Gambhir, the score card showed 4/41. Looked like Dhoni would handle the pressure along with Gambhir, but the second ball he faced of perera that was a catch missed at first slip, a regulation catch and that would been four wickets for None for Perera and what a day the sri lankan all rounder was having. Dhoni looked quite well after the drop catch with couple of boundaries to his name before he was caught behind by Sangakkara, this time Angelo Mathews who dropped the Indian captain at the slip made sure he removed him safely and India in trouble once again with 5/60 in just 14 overs. Not even half way through and we had lost most of the batsmen, the only hope for the Indian batting line up was Gautam Gambhir who was stroking the ball so well and picking the singles, boundaries now and then but he was running out of partners. The wicket kept falling at the regular Intervals and the Sri Lankan all rounders Mathews and Perera made sure Sri Lanka were in a winning position and all the pressure were on the Visitors. Ashwin showed some hope along with Gautam Gambhir and it certainly looked like India would play the whole quota and would cross the 200 run mark, but Ashwin’s poor run between the wickets changed things for India. He was run out while coming for a third run in which Gautam Gambhir was not even interested to take the third. Once Ashwin got out, the intentions were so clear that Gambhir has to score all the runs and make sure India batted at least 40-45 overs. In the mean time Gambhir crossed his half century, a lone fighter as far as the Indian innings was concerned. With no big contributions from Irfan Pathan and the other lower order batsman apart from Ashwin, India managed to score just 138 in 33.3 overs, with Gambhir getting out himself during the batting power play was the last wicket to fell scoring 65. Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera were the stand out performers for Sri Lanka, picking three wickets each.
When the Sri Lankan openers came into chase the target certainly looked like a t-20 target and they too started off in the same way. Both the openers did not take much time and this target saw both the sri lankan openers reaching their half century in quick time and a century partnership between them, Dilshan Lost his wicket for 50 runs. Sri Lankans reached their target in just 19.5 overs leveling the ODI series with 1-1 with still three matches to go.
Thisara Perera was adjudged man of the match for his lovely bowling figures. 8 overs 19 runs and three wickets.