India tie ODI with SL at Adelaide
Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Vinay Kumar took 3/46 to help India restrict Sri Lanka to 236/9 but a poor show from the batsmen saw the Commonwealth Bank Series ODI encounter at Adelaide end in a tie.
Gautam Gambhir followed up his 92 against Australia on Sunday with a 91 here but his run out at a crucial juncture saw India’s chase plummet until MS Dhoni took them to the tie.
Mahela Jayawardene’s decision to bat first was a logical one but Upul Tharanga let him down with his second ball dismissal off Vinay Kumar. Irfan Pathan, brought in to replace Royal Challengers Bangalore spearhead Zaheer Khan struck with the wicket of RCB all rounder Tillakaratne Dilshan and SL were down to 28/2.
Dinesh Chandimal’s brilliant run continued as he pitched in here with 81 runs and built two important partnerships with Sangakkara and Jayawardene. The 94 run partnership with Jayawardene was threatening to take off when Vinay Kumar returned to dismiss the Sri Lankan skipper, leaving SL at 173/4 which turned into 178/5 in the next over when Chandimal was run out. Sri Lanka’s lower order hung around, adding useful runs from Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara and Sachithra Senanayake in plucky partnerships to take SL to 236/9.
Vinay Kumar put in a good performance, taking 3/46 while Virat Kohli took a skier to dismiss Thisara Perera.
Tendulkar was undone early by a short of a length delivery from Kulasekara, edging it to Sangakkara for 15. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma too made 15 each before their dismissals but Gambhir held fort at the other end. Kohli fell prey to an old habit, an offcutter from Perera trapping him plumb LBW. Suresh Raina too followed soon after Sharma’s dismissal as Dhoni walked in with the score at 118/4 in the 28th over.
Gambhir had already brought up his half century but he was still ready to respond to Dhoni’s calls for quick singles, twos and even threes. The duo added 60 runs for the fifth wicket before Gambhir was run out responding to MS Dhoni’s call for a quick single. Dhoni pushed a ball towards mid on and called Gambhir but returned to his crease when he saw Kulasekara run in and collect the ball. Gambhir was already too far out and a direct hit sent him back for 91 with India on 178/5 in the 41st over.
The asking rate immediately jumped up as Ravindra Jadeja scratched around cluelessly before Jayawardene took a screamer to send him back. Ashwin and Dhoni were involved in a brisk 28 run partnership which took India closer to the target. An Ashwin skier was dropped by Sangakkara off Malinga in the 48th over but the batsman obliged with another chance one ball later which was held gladly Senanayake.
Pathan added to the tension with a superb six pulled off a waist high full toss no ball from Angelo Mathews. He was run out the very next ball, sacrificing his wicket when Dhoni took off for a single and reached his end before Pathan even moved out of the crease. Dhoni made amends hitting the next ball for a four and bringing up his 50 with it. Mathews conceded 15 runs in a terrible penultimate over, leaving India needing 9 off the last over.
Vinay Kumar rotated strike with Dhoni as the batsmen found it hard to score any boundaries at all. He was ultimately the third run out in India’s innings, he had no option but to run and have Dhoni face the last ball. With 4 required off the last ball and Dhoni ready to swing to the onside, Malinga bowled a yorker outside off but Dhoni reached it to give it elevation over extra cover. A dive from Senanayake stopped the boundary but the batsmen ran 3 in the time to level the scores, resulting in a tie. Dhoni finished on 58*.
An umpiring error discovered later meant that India only played 49.5 overs as the 30th over of their innings bowled by Lasith Malinga was just 5 balls long. MS Dhoni brushed the matter away in the post match conference saying it could have been a dot ball and that such things happen in cricket.
The statistically odd match saw both teams score the same amount of runs, lose the same number of wickets with three run outs each, hit the same number of boundaries and sixes and even play out the same number of maidens. Completely fair then, that the match ended in a tie.