Zaheer,Gambhir,Raina wins it up for Team India, India leads 2-1
Zaheer Khan’s brilliance of 2-39 in 10 overs went a bit un-noticed because the batsmen took the honors to take India to victory in the 3rd ODI against Sri Lanka.
Zaheer Khan’s opening spell:-
It all started after SriLanka opted to bat 1st and Zaheer Khan started off with the new ball as usual. In the 3rd ball of the 2nd over Zaheer Khan took his Royal Challengers Bangalore team-mate Tillakaratne Dilshan by surprise as Dilshan was bowled off a beauty from Khan. In his very next over of 5th ball, Zaheer Khan as a sweet edge went pass through the bat of Tharanga as he was trying to play a wide-ish delivery from Zaheer Khan as captain Dhoni took the catch. Zaheer Khan had send both the openers back to the bench by 4.5 0vers as Sri Lanka were down to 19-2.
Irfan Pathan supported Zaheer Khan well at the other end and followed his suit by claiming Chandimal for a quack quack duck. Sangakkara and Jayawardene started the repair work for Sri Lanka after Zaheer Khan had pegged them back in the opening overs. Sangakkara played some lovely strokes which as did Mahela and easily they took the score to 141 runs having a good partnership of 121 runs between them. Mahela was gone for 65 as Sangakkara fell at 73 but unfortunately fo SriLanka, Sangakkara has been ruled out of action for 4-6 weeks after he was hit from a ball by Dinda while batting on 24 but still played on. Mathews(71) and Jeevan(45) threatened to take the game away from India by posting a huge total after going after every Indian bowlers except Zaheer Khan who kept things in check during the later part of his spell. In the end SriLanka managed to post a score of 286 runs on the board.
The successful Indian run-chase:-
The Indians run-chase began as Sehwag once again had a short lived stay at teh crease falling for 3 runs. In form Virat Kohli joined in Gambhir and together they went on to make a century partnership as Virat Kohli departed for 38 runs as 2 fours included in his kitty.
Gautam Gambhir and Dhoni played well and stole singles, rotated the strikes well and hit quite a few to the fence too. The partnership was looking good but just when Malinga came in the 36th over he got 2 back to back wickets of Dhoni for 31 and then the out of form Rohit Sharma for duck as India were 180-4. Gautam Gambhir went on to score his century as he too fell for a brilliant 102 runs with 10 fours as he was run out by Udana. A bit of tension was seen in the Indian camp after Gambhir’s departure, but Raina and Pathan played on till the end as Pathan kept rotating the strikes and Raina played a gem of a knock by striking boundaries and kept scoring runs. Pathan and Raina took India to victory as they chased down 286 runs successfully and India went on to win the match and lead the 5 match series 2-1.
Raina was declared as man of the match and Sri Lanka had never lost a match at SriLanka before this after posting 250 runs as India broked that record and had a successful chase. Zaheer Khan was best bowler among all as he ended his 10 overs spell by taking 2 wickets and giving away just 39 runs.
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