|Scorecard:||Sri Lanka v India|
|Player:||ST Jayasuriya, SHT Kandamby, MS Dhoni, SR Tendulkar, RS Dravid|
|Event:||Compaq Cup 2009|
DateLine: 12th September 2009
There was a total turnaround in the way the Indians played in a matter of 18 odd hours as Sri Lanka outwitted and outcastled them completely. First the Lankan batting did not give the Indian bowling (which looked clinical yesterday) any breathing space and then when the Indians came on to bat, only two batsman namely Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid looked as if they could rise to the occasion. Unfortunately for them the ask was too high and the support too less and very feeble. In the end the Indians were comprehensively beaten by 139 runs.
The Indian batting was outdone completely and the team which reached the numero uno position in ODI's after its win yesterday looked a pale shadow of itself. Not even in one department did they looked satisfactory. The seamers bowled poorly and this was evident of the fact that the bowling attack which gave away just one extra yesterday ended up giving 15 today (10 of which were wides). The fielding looked like they were absolutely tired after a brilliant stint yesterday and then the batting was miserable. At the end of the day someone of the likes of Angelo Matthews picking up 6 wickets, out of which four were top order should mean a lot of homework for Kirsten and company to be completed before the final on Monday.
Chasing an improbable 308 to win on a track like this, against skilful bowlers needed something special. It wasn't to be though as India again lost Dinesh Karthik early in the piece, this time gloving a short ball from Thilan Thushara down the leg side. The opening duo added 32 runs before being separated and this was certainly not the worst of platforms if not the best.
In walked Rahul Dravid and this was probably the biggest turning point of the match. He took his time to settle down which unsettled a good looking Sachin Tendulkar at the other end. The result, Sachin threw his wicket away in trying to hoick Kulasekara over the top, only managing to find Ajantha Mendis at mid-on.
This probably was the end of it all since if India needed to win this one, they badly needed Sachin to score a big ton. That did not happen but Yuvraj Singh and Dravid did put in a useful partnership of 38 runs. Dravid in the meanwhile started to up the tempo. He hit Tillekratne Dilshan for a six and a boundary in one over. Just when the two seemed to have settled down Yuvraj started to disturb Malinga outside the off stump. Malinga beat him many a times before finally finding his edge as the left-hander, again caught at the crease, with his feet going no where, could only stab one going away from him.
That began a procession of wickets and surprisingly it was Angelo Matthews who took all the wickets till the ninth one. He started off by dismissing Suresh Raina for a first ball duck and followed that up with wickets of stalwarts like Rahul Dravid, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan alongside the tail.
Earlier, Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and had no problem in deciding to bat first on a pitch which on face value looked a much better surface to bat on. Both openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillekratne Dilshan made sure the momentum after winning the toss is not lost and went after the Indian attack from ball one, with Dilshan hitting Nehra for a boundary to start the proceedings.
The comeback of form for Sanath Jayasuriya does not augur well for the Indians ahead of the final on Monday. The left-hander hit a strokeful 98 off 79 balls and looked absolutely in control of the game in the middle. There was a time when he earned every run as India snapped a good opening stand and then dismissed Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara in quick succession, but the veteran southpaw showed a real appetite for runs. He ran like a leopard between the wickets and made sure India never got back totally in the game via their bowling.
Nehra started badly, with Tillakaratne Dilshan taking two fours in an 11-run opening over that also saw three wides. Now this was the same bowler and the same attack which gave just one wide in the entire Kiwi innings yesterday. The bowlers continued to give width and both Jayasuriya and Dilshan gleefully accepted.
Such was the plunder in the initial overs that Ishant Sharma was brought in as early as the fifth over. He came on and took the outer edge of Jayasuriya's bat only for the ball to fly away for four. Ishant settled for just back of a good length and was kind of successful in stemming the flow of runs. Dilshan was starting to get frustrated after having been kept quiet after the initial flourish, and his attempt to flash one over the off side resulted in a thin edge.
The loss of his opening partner did not stop Jayasuriya's style and the champion continued to punish even the smallest mistake by the Indian bowlers. RP was pulled and driven to the boundary thrice in the 10th over and he continued in the same manner till both Jayawardene and Sangakkara followed each other back in the pavilion.
MS Dhoni's brilliant glovework behind the stumps caused Jayawardene's downfall. Yusuf Pathan spun the ball down the pads, and Jayawardene fell over attempting a flick. As his back leg stretched back inside the crease Dhoni whipped off the bails.
Then it was the turn of Kumar Sangakkara, who like his former skipper has been short of runs. But he didn't last long. Harbhajan Singh was bowling well and his first three overs had gone for just seven runs as he found a brilliant length to ball at. In his fourth over he trapped Sangakkara lbw with a straight delivery. Sangakarra showed his disgust while walking back to the pavilion but replays didn't show an inside edge. Jayasuriya and Angelo Mathews then took control of the innings and staged a 70-run stand. Both fell in quick succession but what followed post their wickets was something that put the final nail in the Indian coffin.
Thilina Kandamby and Chamara Kapugedara (36) combined together and put a swashbuckling 83 runs. Kandamby stole the show from Jayasuriya as the 27-year-old hit a brilliant 91 off 73 balls which included 11 hits to the fence. This knock propelled Sri Lanka past the 300 mark, a more than competitive total for the Indians.