Adelaide: Feb 14, 2012
Despite steering India to a last-ball tie in the triangular series match against Sri Lanka, Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni Tuesday took the blame upon himself saying it was his running out of a well-set Gautam Gambhir that cost his side a win.
Needing 237 for victory, India were coasting along at 174 for four when Gambhir was run out for 91, courtesy a wrong call by Dhoni.
"A wrong call cost us the game. I was wrong in calling Gautam for a single and he got run out," a visibly disappointed Dhoni said after the match ended in a tie.
Dhoni, however, played another gem of an innings and remained unbeaten on 58 to help India draw the match and register at least two points.
Needing four runs to win off the last ball, Dhoni hit Lasith Malinga over the extra cover region for three runs as the game ended with scores of both the teams levelled at 236 for nine.
Incidentally, it was Dhoni who bailed India out in the last over in the visitor's last game against Australia at the same ground on Sunday. He had scored a match-winning unbeaten innings of 44.
And on Tuesday once again Dhoni proved that his calm and composure at the middle is crucial to India's success in limited overs game.
"What's important is to stay there. I looked to stay till the end because while batting at the No 6 position you know there aren't too many batsmen after you," he said.
"If you have a decent partnership you can stick it out."
Dhoni also said that Malinga, who bowled the last over off which India needed nine runs to win, is a difficult bowler to hit.
"Malinga is very consistent. It is very difficult to hit him with his slinging action. So we were looking to target (Angelo) Mathews (in the penultimate over)," said Dhoni, who was declared the man-of-the-match for his composed innings.
"(The last hit) was a bit difficult here, but in India that would have been two bounces and four. When you need 10 or 12 in the last over your heart rate will always be up."
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said even though they managed to eke out two points from the game, the match was never really in their pocket.
He, however, was happy with the fightback of his team after setting up a 237-run modest target before the Indians.
"We made so many mistakes. We dropped catches and missed run-outs. We never had this game wrapped up," Jayawardene said.
"230 was probably not enough but it was a great comeback by the boys. We are happy to get two points," he added.
Jayawardene also backed Malinga, who bowled the last over from which India needed nine runs to win.
"You always back Malinga to do the job for you and he almost did it for us (today)," he said. (PTI)