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India thump Sri Lanka by innings and 144 runs
by Jinu Sabastian


Ground:Modi Stadium, Kanpur
Scorecard:India v Sri Lanka
Player:Z Khan, TT Samaraweera, Harbhajan Singh
Event:Sri Lanka in India 2009/10

DateLine: 27th November 2009

 

A match that had Indian domination written all over it finally ended in the favour of the hosts as Sri Lanka was thrashed by an innings and 144 runs to claim their 100th Test victory in their Test history as well as their third largest win. Sri Lanka did not go down without putting up a fight as Samaraweera and the rest of the batsmen put up a staunch resistance to the Indian bowlers. Prasanna and Samaraweera then added a half-century stand before the former fell to a beauty by Harbhajan. Herath didn't last too long, Murali entertained and left before Mendis dug in. Yuvraj, though, eventually struck, followed by Ojha, to leave Samaraweera stranded.

 

Sri Lanka began their day with the overnight score of 57 for 4 and the visitors batted positively from the onset. Sreesanth began the proceedings with the Lankan batsmen Samaraweera and Mathews on look out for runs. The duo pilfered eight runs off Sreesanth who surprisingly couldn’t get his radar right while Zaheer continued to have problems with no balls. Mathews tore in Zaheer as he hammered three consecutive boundaries to rattle Zaheer but the Indian spearhead launched a vicious bouncer on the unsuspecting all-rounder who could only fend it to Dravid at gully. Keeper Jayawardene joined Samaraweera and two set about giving some respectability to the innings by batting sensibly and positively.

 

Jayawardene used the sweep effectively against the spinners as he scored a brisk 25 while adding 61 for the sixth wicket of 13.1 overs while Samaraweera looked very difficult to dislodge. Harbhajan Singh changed his angle to round the wicket and finally managed to sneak a big spinning off-break through the gate of Jayawardene to dissolve the stand. Herath put off Harbhajan with some crisp shots but the bowler had the last laugh when he trapped the tailender leg before and then next man in Murali took apart Harbhajan with some old fashioned slogs. Muralitharan continued to enjoy inflicting wound on his counterpart but finally his innings ended when Ojha beat the off-spinners wild swing to clean him up. Samaraweera went on to compile a patient half century and made sure that the Indians returned back after lunch.

 

The Samaraweera-Mendis pair frustrated the Indians after the lunch break as they put up a staunch resistance to blunt the Indian bowlers. Zaheer continued to have problems with his no-balls and Samaraweera was able to convince Mendis to hang in there. Credit must be given to Samaraweera as he produced a masterclass for his team-mates to see as to how to bat on a pitch that held no demons but patience was the requirement from the willow-wielders. It was evident that seeds of frustration was seeping into the Indian camp as their rightful 100th Test victory was being denied by a resilient Lankan duo. With Mendis gaining in confidence he had the gumption to go over the top of Harbhajan who was looking lacklusture as time passed. Samaraweera farmed the strike brilliantly as he made sure that Mendis was protected against a fiery Sreesanth but showed enough confidence in the tailender against a rusty Zaheer and a colourless Harbhajan Singh.

 

Sreesanth was getting some late swing and troubled both the batsmen but he was unable to get the outside edge of the batsmen. Finally Dhoni was forced to turn to the bowling of Tendulkar and Yuvraj in hope of breaking the partnership and the latter responded to his captain's call by removing a stubborn Mendis. In the very next over Ojha took a simple return catch to end the Lankan resistance and help his side claim a huge win.


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