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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Finally It Was An Easy Victory For India Over Sri Lanka!


Gautam Gambhir who missed centuries on at least two occasions in the recent Australian tour made exactly 100. Virat Kohli continuing from his brilliant match-winning knock of 133 runs in the last league tie against Sri Lanka at Hobart hit another super ton. Between the two they had a 200 runs plus partnership helping India post a big total of 304. Only Sachin Tendulkar looking for his hundredth ton missed again falling cheaply and tragically to a full toss. The second match of the Asia Cup today between India and Sri Lanka in Dhaka, Bangladesh posed to be a humdinger, but finally gave a clear verdict.  

Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to field first--maybe due to the Hobart experience. Malinga was also not in the side again maybe due to the drubbing he got from the Indian batsmen, particularly Kohli. The Indian innings started on a steady note thanks to some tight Sri Lankan bowling. In the sixth over with India's score at 19 runs Tendulkar fell to Lakmal caught by skipper Jaywardena who smartly planned for it by putting himself at short extra cover. Distraught Tendulkar appealed to the Umpires to consider if it was above waist level in which case it would be called a no-ball. But unfortunately for Sachin the sailing full toss fell below his waist when it came in contact with his bat. Gambhir and Kohli slowly opened up and began to score runs freely. After their respective tons Gambhir (100) and Kohli (108) both fell in the 43rd over at 226/3. 

Dhoni and Raina took over and they seemed to be in a great hurry to hit the 300 mark. Back to 'home' conditions Dhoni (46 off 26 balls) indulged in his usual power-hitting joined lustily by Raina (30 off 17 balls) and they took the score to 304/3 in fifty overs. For Sri Lanka Maharoof took 2 wickets for 57 runs and all of the other bowlers proved to be quite expensive. But considering 'home' conditions the total was not an impossible one.

And Sri Lanka proved it immediately by getting after the Indian bowlers selecting Pravin Kumar in particular for some rough treatment. Irfan Pathan tried to put a brake on the scoring rate by capturing the early wicket of Dilshan, but Sri Lanka proceeded on course to overhaul the target in 40 overs! They raced to 150 in just  the 26th over when in-form Chandimal fell to Ashwin for 13 runs. The turning point of the match came when Sangakkara got out to Ashwin again for 65 good runs at the team's score of 196 in over no.36. After that Sri Lankan innings broke with wickets falling in heaps. Remaining six wickets fell for the addition of only 58 runs. India won by 5o runs with nearly five overs to spare. Irfan became the most successful bowler for India with 4 scalps for only 32 runs followed by Ashwin and Vinay Kumar with 3 each. Finally it was an easy win for India in a match that was moving towards a nail-biting finish. Scorecard:

Vice Captain Virat Kohli was adjudged the Man of the Match—his second consecutive award.

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