Dambulla, Sri Lanka: India announced it’s return to the main fray by thumping the hosts in a one-sided match. With this win, India is placed on the 2nd position after completion of 1st 2 matches of the three teams. Sehwag’s unbeaten 99 runs made the host look club-class on their home ground.
Dhoni lost the toss for the 5th consecutive time during this SL visit. The fear of batting udner the floodlights were again sending him shivers. But, the Indian bowlers had a different plan. The break suited them the most, as they made the host pay for their decision to bat first.
Praveen Kumar, the pick of the Indian bowlers started the slide and Nehra proved a good partner in crime against SL batting. Dilshan was the lone survivor among the top-order till 21.4 overs. But, even he could score just 45 runs playing 62 deliveries. Tharanga, Sangakkara, Mahela and Samaraweera just could not take control of the match bidding bye to Dilshan with the hope of a miracle. But there was none to be.
Later Randiv gave the surprise performance with 43 runs. But besides Kulasekara’s 22 runs, nobody could provide him a helping hand. Still considering score of 103/7 when all the batsmen were back to pavillion, 170 runs in 46.1 overs was a good score, considering that Indian will be wary of chasing under the floodlights.
Indians started on a cautious note. Sehwag checked his flambuoyant shots for the later phase. A slow start helped the Indian see the new ball off. Although Karthik’s wicket started the downslide as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma failed to even open their account, Sehwag was determined. Everybody know as long as Sehwag is on crease, India can not lose.
Raina again proved a good partner, adding 59 very valuable runs with Sehwag before departing on 21 playing a loose shot, which he will not repeat in the tournament for sure. Dhoni played a captain’s knock and helped Sehwag feel confident to play his shots. Both added undefeated 80 runs in 12.4 overs. Dhoni remained not out on 23 runs. Sehwag again missed his century by a run, but managed to avert the Randiv’s knife hanging on his head by his last 3 dismissals against him.
In fact, in the end just to prevent Sehwag from reaching his century, Randiv did something rare. He bowled a no-ball when India needed just a run, and Sehwag almost sure of getting his century facing Randiv on 99 runs. Randiv jumped the crease by almost a yard, rare for a spinner. Sehwag did hit a six. But since a no-ball was enough for India’s victory, his six was not counted and he returned not out on 99 runs. A very special one for him as he left his swashbuckling shots to make sure that India wins with a bonus point.