Sehwag blitz hands India comprehensive win
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 16th August 2010
India gave a almost flawless performance as they crushed Sri Lanka to register a win the tri-series. With this win the tournament is wide open as each side has registered a win. Sehwag and the bowlers were the chief architects of the Indian win and they will be quite happy with the position they are in the points table.
Dhoni's bad run with the toss continued as once again he was left to watch his opposite number make the decision as to whether to bat or bowl. The conditions were windy and overcast and it would require the Indian seamers to strike early and that was just what they did it. Praveen Kumar became only the third Indian after Debashish Mohanty and Zaheer Khan to take a wicket in the first ball of the innings as Tharanga had no answer to a beauty from the medium pacer. The ball pitched on the middle and moved just a bit to knock back the off stump. Lankan skipper Sangakkara never really looked settled as he looked to pull a delivery from Nehra that was not short enough and skied as easy catch to Ojha at fine-leg. Jayawardene was done in by a sharp off-cutter from Praveen Kumar to be trapped leg-before while Samaraweera after a scratchy innings in the middle fell to a well executed plan by the Indians.
Dilshan meanwhile countered the bouncer strategy of the Indians by playing some powerful pulls and only he looked comfortable in the middle. Finally he fell as he attempted for a slog sweep of Ojha and was caught at midwicket while Angelo Mathews was trapped leg before by the much abused Jadeja. The all-rounder pressed his case of claiming the number seven spot before the 2011 World Cup as his own when he cleaned up the under-performing Kapugedera. Just when it seemed that Sri Lanka will fold up quickly the Indians encountered a gritty Suraj Randiv. The off-spinner played some stunning shot and he received some valuable help from Kulasekara down the order as they gave the Lankan side something to defend. The Sri Lankans were all out for 170 in 46.1 overs.
The Indian chase did not get off to a particular explosive start as the Indian openers Karthik and Sehwag found scoring very difficult. The Lankan pacers bowled to a plan as they choked the openers to slow death. Karthik after prodding around for 35 balls for his 10 finally fell when he cut a short and wide delivery from Angelo Mathews straight to Kulasekara at third man. Kohli and Rohit Sharma failed to open their account as the Indian side was struggling at 32 for 3 in 10.4 overs.
Sehwag shelved his attacking instincts and realizing that his team needed stability began play responsibly. The dashing Delhi opener who has failed to cross fifty run mark in his last 11 ODI innings sussed the bowlers and the pitch to play a quiet knock. Once he reached the thirties his strike rate which was hovering in the 60's suddenly shot up to 80's as Sehwag began to open up. Raina too found the boundaries on a a couple of occasions as the pair added 59 in 11.1 overs to soothe the frayed nerves in the Indian dressing room.
A slower short pitched delivery proved to be Raina's undoing and it seemed for a moment that the wheels were coming off. But Dhoni joined forces with Sehwag and the two took the Indian side closer to win and also get a bonus point. Another interest in the match remained as to whether Sehwag will get his thirteenth ODI century. In the 35th over bowled by Randiv India needed five runs to win. Randiv gave away four byes and then bowled a no-ball thus denying Sehwag a well-deserved century. Nevertheless it was a crucial win for India in which they claimed a bonus point.