Hambantota: Jul 24, 2012
Indian batsmen produced a contrasting performance from their last match as they were bundled out for a meagre 138 against Sri Lanka in the second ODI of the five-match series.
Although the second ODI was played on a different strip, it was inexplicable as to how a team that scored 314 couple of days back showed complete lack of application to get out inside 34th over.
Save opener Gautam Gambhir who scored a fighting 65 (96 balls, 4x4), the other batsmen paid heavy price for their indiscretion on a pitch that demanded judicious shot selection. Thisara Perera (3/14) and Angelo Mathews (3/19) ran through the Indian top-order.
With 43 minutes left for break, Sri Lanka raced to 64 for no loss in only nine overs with only 75 runs required off remaining 41. Upul Tharanga (24 batting) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (28 batting) looked very much in ease while chasing the target.
Although there was a greenish tinge but the pitch which was primarily on the lower side also produced odd deliveries that reared up from the three quarter.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and expectedly decided to bat despite windy conditions which aided swing bowlers.
The visitors got off to a brisk start courtesy Virender Sehwag (15) as he blasted debutant Isuru Udana for a couple of boundaries as they raced off to 31 in three overs.
After Udana, went for 16 in his first over, Mahela Jayawardene had no option but to turn to Thisara Perera whose slower delivery had Sehwag committing to the shot early and the bowler took a sharp reflex catch.
Failure is a rarity for Virat Kohli (1) these days but today was a different day. He chased a delivery from Perera that was wide outside off-stump and the faint nick gave Kumar Sangakkara, first of his four catches.
Rohit Sharma (0), who is lucky to be still persisted with purely on the basis of potential rather than performance once again flattered to deceive as he was played on trying go for an ambitious cut shot off a very wide delivery from Mathews.
Suresh Raina (1) dragged one from Perera back onto his off-stump. Skipper Dhoni (11) hit a couple of boundaries but then went for a non-existent cut shot off a Mathews delivery.
The ball reared up from short of good length and there was virtually no room to play the square cut and the edge was snapped by Sangakkara.
With all the top-order batsmen save Gambhir back in the pavilion before completion of first 15 overs, the Delhi left-hander had a onerous task of saving his wicket as well as scoring some runs.
Irfan Pathan (6) too didn't stay long but Ravichandran Ashwin (21, 15 balls, 3x4) did throw his bat around during the 28-run eighth wicket partnership after which the burly Tamil Nadu offie was needlessly run-out.
Gambhir meanwhile got to his 32nd half-century with No 10 batsmen Pragyan Ojha for company. He ultimately ran out of patience as he tried to steer a Lasith Malinga delivery as Sangakkara effected a brilliant one-handed catch.(PTI)