Paceman Pathan helps India to handsome win over Sri Lanka
by AFP

Ground:Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Event:Sri Lanka in India 2005/06

DateLine: 28th October 2005


Indian seamer Irfan Pathan ripped through the Sri Lankan top-order as India raced to an eight-wicket victory in the second one-day international here on Friday.


Pathan's opening burst of four for 37 helped skittle the visiting side for a measly total of 122 which was overhauled in just 20.2 overs under lights at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium.


India's opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar (70 not out) and Virender Sehwag (38) got off to a flying start with a stand of 80 in just 9.4 overs to douse any hopes of a fightback by Sri Lanka.


Pathan celebrated his birthday a day late by bowling with accuracy against a batting line-up that failed to show purpose and handed India a 2-0 lead in the seven-match series.


The Baroda paceman, who turned 21 on Thursday, struck in the very first over when Sanath Jayasuriya slashed the ball straight to Sehwag at third-man to record his 26th duck in one-dayers and the fifth against India.


After captain Marvan Atapattu (four) fell to Ajit Agarkar, Pathan had Jayawardene (seven) caught by Venugopal Rao at square-leg and then came up with a twin-strike that reduced Sri Lanka to 54-5.


Pathan dismissed Kumar Sangakkara (27), who opened instead of batting at his usual number three position, and Tillakaratne Dilshan off successive deliveries.


The in-form Sangakkara skied a ball to Sachin Tendulkar at mid-on after hitting four boundaries off 31 balls while Dilshan (zero) was trapped lbw with a ball that swung in sharply.


"I thought Pathan and Agarkar bowled very well and then the spinners came on to do their job. The ball was stopping a bit but it was definitely not a 120-wicket," said Indian captain Rahul Dravid.


Seamer Jai Prakash Yadav was also among the wickets as he removed Farveez Maharoof (18) and Nuwan Zoysa off successive balls while off-spinner Harbhajan Singh picked up two scalps as well.


Super-sub Upul Chandana, batting at number nine, remained unbeaten on 19.


Sri Lanka's total was the lowest at the venue, the previous one being 178 for nine by South Africa against India in 1993.


"Our batting let us down but we need to come back and do better in the remaining matches," said Atapattu. "India are playing very well at the moment but we need to encourage each other to do better."


Tendulkar, who had returned to international cricket with a cracking 93 in the opening match of the series in Nagpur that India won by 152 runs on Tuesday, was at his aggressive best.


The Mumbai batsman slammed 12 sparkling boundaries in his 69-ball knock and once again showed no signs of the tennis elbow that had put him out of action for six months.


Tendulkar played both pace and spin with ease and welcomed prolific off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan into the attack with a lofted four over mid-on and drove the second ball through covers for another boundary.


His partner Sehwag once took 14 off an over from left-arm seamer Nuwan Zoysa, which included a pulled six over the square-leg boundary, before giving an easy return catch to paceman Maharoof.


Yadav (nine) went early but Dravid (two) remained unbeaten in the company of Tendulkar.


The third match will be played in Jaipur on Monday.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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