India vs Sri Lanka
India win by four wickets
After the wicket of Virat Kohli with the score on 181 for six, it looked like an even contest, but an unbeaten partnership of 53 from Ravichandran Ashwin (30 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (24 not out) took the game away from Sri Lanka who appeared to be all out of ideas in the final overs. Nonetheless, they'll have another chance to redeem themselves on Friday when they take on the Australians. See you then.
Over 46.4 Mathews 0-1-4-1
234-6 - Final roll of the dice as Mathews begins spell number five. There's a push to the offside and Malinga's fielding prevents the second. The batsmen are happy to settle for one, there's no need for risks now. But Ashwin says why not and comes down the crease and pulls over mid-wicket. It trickles over the boundary and brings the scores level. Chance! Ashwin tries to go big again and he looks certain to go out as he mistimes it and it goes straight up. Three Sri Lankan fielders converge on it and three Sri Lankan fielders look at each other as none of them end up going for the catch. It drops right in front of Lasith Malinga and it's an embarrassing end to the match for Sri Lanka. India win by four wickets with 20 balls to spare.
Over 46 Prasad 1-0-0-0-0-4
228-6 - Another one for Jadeja, but another one on the toe-end and he's calling for a replacement bat. Looks like he might have copped a few too many blows on the bat from Malinga and the like. Tired of the dot balls, Ashwin pulls through mid-wicket and the sweeper has no chance of cutting that off. A touch too short from Prasad, perhaps a bit of inexperience showing there. Six to win, India can't lose from here. Surely?
Over 45 Malinga 0-1-0-1-0-4
223-6 - Just a flick of the wrists from Ashwin brings him another single. Had a touch of vintage VVS Laxman in that shot. Malinga then nails Jadeja on the toe-end of the bat with his trademark yorker, but it still squeezes out for a single. A visibly frustrated Malinga gets the short ball in just to keep Ashwin honest, but follows it up with a length ball outside off which is driven handsomely through cover for four. Well, it was really just defended, but Ashwin's timing sends it racing to the boundary. Even Sachin would have been proud of that shot. Just 11 more needed.
Over 44 Prasad 0-0-1-0-1-2
217-6 - More rotation from Jayawardene as Dhammika Prasad comes back for a final flurry. Interesting decision as Mathews looked threatening in the previous over. Prasad comes around the wicket to Jadeja and it's a swing and a miss from the left-hander. Chance! Jadeja pushed for a second run and it's a brilliant throw to Sangakkara, but the left-hander sneaks back just in time to inch India ever closer.
Over 43 Dilshan 0-0-1-4-0-1
212-6 - The former skipper comes around the wicket to the right-handed Ashwin now. Ashwin's replies by putting pressure on the bowler and coming down the crease to meet the pitch of the ball. Jadeja then sneaks one through third man off the bottom edge and with Malinga inside the circle it races over the ropes and piles further pressure on the Sri Lankans. Just 21 to win now off seven overs. Should be a walk in the park for India.
Over 42 Mathews 0-1-0-1-0-1
207-6 - Fourth spell of the night for Mathews, so Jayawardene is clearly not shy to rotate his bowlers. We saw plenty of this under Dilshan's captaincy in South Africa. The change nearly works as Mathews finds Ashwin's edge, but it flies past slip and down to third man for a single. Suddenly the edge brings a play and a miss from Jadeja. Mathews is threatening here, but he doesn't get the breakthrough that Sri Lanka so badly need.
Over 41 Perera 2-2-1-1-1-1
204-6 - Cut shot brings two for Jadeja as Perera comes back to try and break this partnership, but the lower-order pair are looking rather comfortable. The pressure is back on the bowlers now, they need a wicket fast to get Sri Lanka back into this game. If there's 20 or 25 to get for the likes of the Kumar's, they'll have a go with the big shots and Sri Lanka could fancy their chances of catching a mis-hit.
Over 40 Malinga 0-1-1-1-0-1
196-6 - Slinger Malinga continues and he's right on the money at the start of the over, but the yorker then evades him. Ashwin and Jadeja can handle the length stuff and with 38 to win, the Indian's look like they're boss of this match again.
Over 39 Kulasekara 0-1-1-0-0-1
192-6 - Ashwin is beaten outside off as he tries to steer to third man. No need to lose another wicket now. He recognises he has a big role to play and just works the next one to mid-wicket. Sri Lanka can comfortably just push around the singles and go at four or five per over and they'll easily bag the win.
Over 38 Malinga 0-0-3-0-1-1
189-6 - Good captaincy from Jayawardene. He sniffs a shot at the tail and brings his premier wicket-taker back. Ashwin is solid in defence. He's more than capable of holding India's charge. He does, after all, have a Test hundred to his name. But he is still new at the crease and there's plenty of close-in fielders applying the pressure. Ashwin drives on the up, but there's no-one home as it finds the gap on the off side, three more runs for Ashwin. Typical fast-bowler's response and Jadeja has to duck the bouncer. Another 45 to win, four wickets in hand. This one's going down to the wire.
Over 37 Kulasekara 0-0-1-1-1-0
184-6 - There's plenty of time for Ashwin and Jadeja to knock off the runs, but they need to keep their wickets. Not much batting to come in the form of Vinay Kumar, Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan to come. Sri Lanka can sniff a chance here and so far, it seems, they're winning the power play. Just the four runs from the over it's now just 50 to win.
Over 36 Prasad 0-0-0-0-6-W
181-6 - Only three men allowed outside the circle now for the next five overs. Can Kohli and Jadeja take advantage here? Not quite. He's struggling to get hold of Prasad early in the over, but wait, he takes his frustration out by taking a free swing of the arms and hitting the bowler right over his head for six. WICKET! Oh dear, Kohli is not only run out by a country mile, but he's down for the count as he went for what would normally be a quick single, but his injury slowed him down too much and Malinga's direct hit saw Kohli floored. Ravichandran Ashwin comes to the crease, but Kohli is not leaving yet as it takes two men from the Indian backroom staff to come out and carry him off.
Over 35 Mathews 1-1-0-4lb-0-1
175-5 - Required run-rate is just over four per over so if Sri Lanka want to win this they're going to need to take wickets, and particularly the wicket of Virat Kohli as he's not shy of looking the boundaries at the moment. Mathews strays on the pads and it's four leg-byes to fine-leg. Easy single for Kohli to end the over and retain the strike. With that, umpire Nigel Llong signals it's time for the batting power-play.
Over 34 Prasad 4-1-0-W-1-0
168-5 - Whatever Kohli's injury is, it's spurred him on to look for the boundary. He's in a lot of pain, but smacks Prasad to mid-wicket. That went like a tracer-bullet. Hardly a friendly welcome back to the attack for Dhammika Prasad. Now Dhoni looks to smash Prasad through the covers, but Chandimal makes a superb save. WICKET! Dhoni tries to go over the top with a pull, but he's late on the stroke and Malinga runs back on the edge of the circle to complete the catch at mid-on. Perhaps it was Kohli's injury which urged the captain to play such rash shots as he knew quick singles were not an option. Ravindra Jadeja comes in to join the right-hander and this could be a tough test for him.
Over 33 Mathews W-0-1-0-0-4
162-4 - WICKET! Never a fan of the short ball, Suresh Raina goes on the pull to a short one outside off and it's straight down the throat of substitute Sachithra Senaneyake at deep mid-wicket. Sri Lanka right back in this now. That partnership was looking threatening as they put on 35. The captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni brings himself to the crease hoping to apply the finishing touches to this run chase. He gets off the mark with a wristy steer past slip for four. Great start for the captain.
Over 32 Malinga 1-0-1-4-1-2
157-3 - Jayawardene brings his trump card back into the attack. He needs wickets as this game is quickly slipping out of Sri Lanka's grasp. Malinga's already sliding in the yorkers and Kohli's able to just clip it away to bring up the 150. Malinga then aims for the chest area of the left-hander, but Raina glances it just out of reach of Sangakkara as it rolls away to the boundary. Not a great line from Malinga as he tries the same trick again, but this it's only a single as Raina doesn't get all of it. Kohli then pulls in front of square and he can only manage two as he pulls up with an injury. Looks like it could be a hamstring or a bit cramp. No runner allowed, so the physios are quickly in the middle trying to apply the necessary fix for India's in-form batsman.
Over 31 Dilshan 2-0-0-1-1-1
148-3 - Ones and twos will do it for India, so Sri Lanka need to shake things up a bit. A drinks break will allow them to have a think about it all, with India needing another 86 runs to win from 19 overs at 4.52 per over.
Over 30 Mathews 0-0-1-1-1-0
143-3 - Mathews is still getting the ball to do a bit, and beats Raina with one that jags away off the seam. There are just three singles from the over, but India still look in control. Sri Lanka probably need another burst from Malinga to try and twist the game back into the balance.
Over 29 Dilshan 0-1-2-1-0-1
140-3 - Dilshan back on now. Sri Lanka haven't picked a specialist spinner and may wonder about that decision after the way Ashwin bowled. He benefited from his height and resultant bounce of course, but the tall Suraj Randiv hasn't been picked in Sri Lanka's squad for this series. Would have been pretty handy I reckon.
- 8th Feb 2012
- N J Llong and P R Reiffel
india BATTING CARD
|Sehwag||c Kulasekara b Malinga||10|
|Sharma||c Dilshan b Perera||10|
|Raina||c Sub b Mathews||24|
|Dhoni||c Malinga b Prasad||4|
|Total||Close, 46.4 Overs||234 - 6|