Virender Sehwag

Source: Cricinfo.com

Didn’t I say in the last post that India would definitely be back? And did they come back in grand style or what! Winning by 6 wickets and 93 balls to spare, also getting the crucial bonus point in the process and that too after losing the toss and asked to bat second, is a sensational performance by Team India. To give one man credit for this win would be unfair as it was a good all round effort, first by the bowlers who restricted Sri Lanka to 170, followed by a ‘Sehwag Special’ and support from Raina and Dhoni.

Sri Lanka came into bat hoping to set a target close to 250. But they were rocked off the very first ball of the innings as Praveen Kumar dismissed Tharanga clean bowled. It was a sign of things to come as Indian bowlers continued to make inroads and had Sri Lanka tottering at 103/7. It was only the 39 run partnership between Randiv (43) and Kulasekara (22), which took Sri Lanka to some respectability. Praveen Kumar (2 for 20), Ishant Sharma (2 for 32), Ojha (3 for 36), Ravindra Jadeja (2 for 34) and Nehra (1 for 39), everyone chipped in and it was a job well done.

Chasing 170 is not a cakewalk in Dambulla under lights as the ball seams and swings around in the first 10-15 overs. Karthik and Sehwag played out the first 8.5 overs, before Karthik got out. Score was 30/1. 2 overs later, it was 32/3 as Kohli and Rohit Sharma both were dismissed for ducks. Suddenly, Sri Lanka were right back in the match. All India needed was someone to support Sehwag, who was a on a mission. Playing with uncharacteristic patience, Sehwag had read the game perfectly and knew there were runs to be had once the ball got a bit older. A 59 run partnership with Raina (21) and 80 run partnership with Dhoni (23*) were enough for India to cruise to victory. Sehwag scored a magical, chanceless 99* of 100 balls. It is quite funny to say Sehwag was patient, considering the strike rate of 99. He is not the most feared Cricketer for nothing.  An ODI innings like this was overdue from Sehwag and he produced it when India needed it badly. 99 out of the total 171 runs make it 57% of the runs scored by him alone. Trust me, not many players can do that. For all those wondering just why was Sehwag left stranded at 99 not out, well, it was because of a deliberate No-Ball by Randiv. Confused, don’t worry, just check this out (Link to the second post)

Sehwag was undoubtedly the Man-of-the-Match and India are right back into the series with the bonus point. All teams are with 1 win each, the difference being the Bonus Points won by New Zealand (1st) and India (2nd). It is Sri Lanka now, who are under pressure in the series.

Next Match: Sri Lanka v/s New Zealand on 19th August…

Categories: General
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