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Thursday, 9 February 2012

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Sri Lankans back in losing land:

India waltz home by 4 wickets

The Sri Lankan cricketers were ordered back into the land meant for losers when India beat them 4 wickets in a Commonwealth Bank Tri series game under lights here, today.

After Sri Lanka were restricted to 233 for 8 in their 50, the Indians waltzed to victory, led by Sachin Tendulkar 48, Virat Kholi making 77 and Suresh Raina 24.At one stage India were 181 for 6 and looked doomed.

But Jadeja and Ashwin took them to victory putting on an unbroken stand of 53 in 10.4 overs for the seventh wicket. Jadeja made 254 and Ashwin 30. India made 233 for 6 in 46.3 overs.

After Mahela Jayawardena won the all important toss, the Lankan batsmen had the advantage of batting on a wicket that looked good for 250 plus score. But that score could not be achieved owing to some irresponsible batting.

When India began their chase, Virender Sehwag who is hopelessly out of form, fell for 10 when he tried to cut and holed out to Nuwan Kulasekera who took a well judged catch at point running in from third man. 14 for 1.

Still searching

Sachin Tendulkar who is still searching for that elusive 100th 100 and Virat Kohli added 75 for the second wicket, before Tendulkar missed out again. After making 48 with 5 fours, he tried to cut a ball that moved in from Angelo Mathews and played on. 89 for 2.

India lost Rohit Sharma 10,Suresh Raina 24, M.S.Dhoni 4 and Virat Kohli 77 and were struggling at 181 for 6.

Walking into the ground that was looking a picture, it was sad to note the poor turnout of spectators. The reason was that two of the worst teams in the game today Sri Lanka and India were playing.

The two teams in the past were great crowd pullers. But of late a string of defeats has seen them lose their appeal and now they are struggling to get back that lost appeal. So you canít blame cricket fans for tightening their wallets and not flocking to watch them in action.

Five-man pace attack

Sri Lankan selectors had decided to go in with a five-man pace attack comprising Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera, Dhammika Prasad, Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews with Tillakaratne Dilshan to toss his off spinners.

The playing of a five man pace squad would have been prompted because the Perth wicket is known for its pace and bounce owing to the grass on it.

But it came as a surprise when Mahela Jayawardena won the toss and decided to bat.

India made two changes dropping Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Sharma who was injured and bringing in Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag. Accept for Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews, some the better known batsmen such as Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena could not contribute substantially.

End of innings

When the innings ended at 233 it was apparent that the Lankans were 30 to 40 runs short considering that the wicket was batsmen friendly. A bit more responsibility by the batsmen who failed could have taken Sri Lanka to a challenging total.

Sri Lanka were off to a bad start when Upul Tharanga who did seem at ease being beaten a few times by Zaheer Khan in his first over, rushed out to the bowler in his second over and glided a catch to Sachin Tendulkar at first slip for 4. 12 for 1.

Kumar Sangakkara joined Tillakaratne Dilshan and began to restore the innings. Dilshan who has been relieved of the captaincy was batting freely. He was the aggressor hitting boundaries in front of the wicket.

Sangakkara was subdued and after making 26 in 34 balls with 2 fours was brilliantly held by a diving Dhoni when Khan moved a ball. 74 for 2. The batsmen put on 62 in 14 overs.

Good catch

Dilshan was looking good for half century and when on 48 attempted to cut left arm spinner Jadeja and was nicely taken by Kohli at point with 6 fours. 100 for 3.

Jayawardena joined Chandimal who was batting very confidently and put on 52 for the fourth wicket.

Trying to pull Ashwin, Jayawardena skied to Sharma at square leg for 23 with 2 fours in 33 deliveries.152 for 4.

A fifth wicket stand of 20 saw Sri Lanka reach 172, when Thisara Perera jumped out to Ashwin and was stumped by Dhoni for 7 in 11 balls. 172 for 5. Chandimal who played a gallant and responsible innings of 64 in 80 with 4 fours was stumped by Dhoni. After Dilshan he was the batsman to take the fight to the Indians. 189 for 6.

Lahiru Thirimanne from whom much was expected was run out after a misunderstanding with Angelo Mathews for 7 in 11. 204 for 7.

Mathews and Nuwan Kulasekera put on 24 before Kulasekera top edged Kumar to Sharma at point for 7 in 8. 228 for 8. Sri Lanka finally ended on 233 for 8 in 50 with Angelo Mathews remaining unbeaten 33 in 28 with 2 fours.

Zaheer Khan with 2 for 44 and Ravichandran Ashwin with 3 for 32 in 10 were the bowlers to put the brakes on the Lankan batting. Perth, Wednesday

		Sri Lanka:
U. Tharanga c Tendulkar b Khan 04
T. Dilshan c Kohli b Jadeja 48
K. Sangakkara c Dhoni b Khan . 26
D. Chandimal st Dhoni b Ashwin 64
M. Jayawardene c Sharma b Ashwin . 23
T. Perera st Dhoni b Ashwin 07
A. Mathews L. Thirimanne run out 07
N. Kulasekara c Sharma b Vinay Kumar 07
L. Malinga . not out 01
Extras (lb6, w7) . 13
Total (eight wickets for; 50 overs) 233
Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Tharanga),2-74 (Sangakkara), 3-100(Dilshan), 4-152 (Jayawardene),5-172 (Perera), 6-189 (Chandimal), 7-204 (Thirimanne), 8-228(Kulasekara).
Bowling: Khan 10-1-44-2, Kumar 10-0-54-0 (2w), Vinay Kumar 10-1-56-1 (3w), Jadeja 10-0-41-1,
Ashwin 10-1-32-3 (2w). India:
V. Sehwag c Kulasekera b Malinga 10
S. Tendulkar b Mathews . 48
V. Kohli run out . 77
R. Sharma c Dilshan b Perera 10
S. Raina c sub (Senanayake) b Mathews 24
M.S. Dhoni c Malinga b Prasad . 04
R. Jadeja not out 24
R. Ashwin not out 30
Extras (lb5, w2) . 07
Total (six wickets for; 46.4overs) 234
Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Sehwag), 2-89 (Tendulkar), 3-122 (Sharma),4-157 (Raina), 5-167(Dhoni), 6-181 (Kohli).
Bowling: Malinga 9-0-49-1(1w), Kulasekara 8-0-38-0, Prasad 10-0-47-1, Mathews 9.4-1-31-2, Perera 5-0-37-1 (1w), Dilshan 5-0-27-0.

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