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Friday, July 12, 2013

WI Tri-Series Cricket: India Win The Celkon Mobile Cup!



The Dhoni Assault!
The World 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.

India started 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:
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