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WI Tri-Series Cricket: India Win The Celkon Mobile Cup!
The Dhoni Assault!
Champions, the Champions of Champions Trophy India
have added one more tournament win to their bag of achievements by defeating Sri Lanka
in the final of the West Indies Tri-Nation ODI Cricket Series on Thursday and
taking home the Celkon Mobile Cup. Captain Cool MS Dhoni who with a hamstring
injury keeping him out of the Series came back to play this match only and in a
low-scoring thriller hit Sri Lanka’s almost unplayable bowler of the match
Eranga for 16 runs needed to win in four balls of the last over of the match. With 45 not out
Dhoni became the worthy player of the match while seamer Bhuvaneshwar Kumar was
adjudged the player of the Series. Just imagine Kumar was dropped or rested or
whatever in a crucial match against Sri Lanka
that put India
almost out of the tournament. Anyway, the Champions came back from the brink of
elimination, won two matches with bonus points and finally won the Cup.
The track was a
tricky and treacherous one helping both seam and spin and also having uneven
bounce. The ball often tended to keep low too. These factors probably
influenced Dhoni to field first after winning the toss. Kumar delivered two vital
blows eliminating the openers who tormented India with a double hundred
partnership in a match earlier. But Sri Lanka came back into the match and
at 171 for 2 in the 38th over they were cruising. Maybe Dhoni’s
decision to under bowl his three seamers made things a little easier for Sri Lanka. However, thanks to Ravindra Jadeja’s lethal
spin (4 for 23) Sri Lanka
uncharacteristically collapsed for 201 all out with their 8 wickets falling for
just 30 runs. It seemed to an easy target for a powerful batting side.
uncharacteristically too with Dhawan and Rohit struggling for runs. Maybe the over
defensive approach backfired with wickets falling. The painful proceedings
continued as Karthick took 11 balls to get of the mark and still could not last
long. Rohit labored on in a determined
way and his partnership with Raina--the fastest one of the innings--got India to 139 in the 32nd over
and at that point India looked to be cruising. Rohit completed his 17th
ODI half century, but could not last long as one unplayable low or almost
grassing ball from Herath (4 for 20 runs) bowled him. From 139/3 India were reduced to 167/8 in the 42ndover and Sri Lanka
stormed back into the match. Dhoni still refused to take quick singles obviously
due to his injury and grimly kept his end going. Perhaps he planned a final
assault on a Sri Lankan bowler he would finally face to settle the match that
already seemed to be over for India.
That happened in the last over with Eranga being the bowler. And India won by 1
wicket with just two balls to spare. The Scorecard: