Cricket T20: Pathan Stars As India Thump Sri Lanka!

Pathan Gets Mahela!
Irfan Pathan who came back strongly in the Micromax Cup cricket one-day series captured the first three Sri Lankan wickets as India won the one-off T20 encounter against Sri Lanka today at Pallekele by 39 runs.
Sri Lanka won the toss and put India in. RMS Eranga who made his T20 debut today got the wicket of Gautam Gambhir in his first over and the second of the innings, and he had a terrific achievement of getting a first-over wicket in all his debuts in Tests, ODIs and T20. Then it was the Micromax Cup Man of the Series, Virat Kohli again who took absolute control of the innings first with Ajinkya Rahane and then with Suresh Raina. But India was not allowed to run away to a huge score by some consistent Sri Lankan bowling and fielding. Virat was the third down for an individual 68 in the 17th over with the team score reading 129/3. Skipper Dhoni joined Suresh Raina and the duo took the score to 155 through some hard work. RMS Eranga finished with two Indian wickets for Sri Lanka. Indian lost only three wickets, but that advantage did not reflect in the total. A target of 156 off 20 overs looked immensely gettable for Sri Lanka at home.
But Irfan Pathan reversed that emphatically. With effective swing he clean bowled Dilshan in the very first over; got Thanranga caught by Raina in the third over and then captured a settled Mahela Jaywardene leg before wicket in the fifth over. He reduced Sri Lanka to 35/3 and the team never recovered from that. Ashwin bowled Thirimanne in the 10th over. Mathews and Mendis tried to offer some resistance for the fifth wicket, but when Ashok Dinda removed Mathews at the team’s score of 96 in the 13th over it was all over. The remaining wickets fell in a heap with Dinda coming up with 4 scalps, Ashwin, and Umesh Yadav who also made his T20 debut today got one each. Virat Kohli contributed too by bowling three tight overs for only 13 runs in an important juncture. The highest score of the Sri Lankan innings was just 31 made by Mathews and the last three wickets fell at the final score of 116. A thrilling match finally ended in rout as India won by a huge 39 runs.  The Scorecard:
Irfan Pathan was adjudged the man of the match and his comeback is a good positive of this Sri Lanka tour. India dominated the proceeding right through by winning the one-day series 4-1 and the one off T20 match convincingly. They come back to Sri Lanka again to play in the T20 World Cup starting on September 18, 2012. Before that India play New Zealand at home for a brief series to two tests and two one dayers. 


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