India require 202 to win Caribbean tri-series final against Sri Lanka

The Indian bowlers were right on top of the Sri Lankan batsmen and kept taking wickets at regular intervals © AFP

By Shrikant Shankar

Jul 11, 2013

India need 202 runs to win the Caribbean tri-series final at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad on July 11, 2013. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 201 in 48.5 overs after having been sent into bat by the returning MS Dhoni.

Dhoni, who suffered a hamstring injury during India’s opening match against West Indies on June 30 in Jamaica, returned to the starting eleven replacing Murali Vijay. Umesh Yadav also missed out as R Vinay Kumar was brought into the team for the first time this series. Sri Lanka also made a couple of changes. Suranga Lakmal and Kushal Perera came in for Dilhara Lokuhettige and Jeevan Mendis.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is the leading wicket-taker in the tri-series, continued his impressive form as he picked up the wicket of Upul Tharanga (11) in the last ball of the seventh over. Bhuvneshwar bowled a short of a length delivery from round the wicket. Tharanga was cramped for room as he was half forward and the ball carried extra bounce and took the inside edge. Dhoni took a comfortable catch.

The seamer then got the prized scalp of Mahela Jayawardene. The batsman played softly at a wide delivery from Bhuvneshwar and edged it to Ravichandran Ashwin at wide first slip. Jayawardene departed for 22 off 28 balls scoring two fours and a six. Then came a well crafted partnership between Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne.

The duo added a vital 122 runs for the third wicket. Dhoni kept rotating his bowlers, but the batsmen got the runs with relative ease. Sangakkara got to his 77th ODI half-century. As Thirimanne approached his sixth ODI fifty, he completely mishit a pull shot at a short delivery from Ishant Sharma. Bhuvneshwar took the catch to his left at mid-off.

Then Ashwin pegged Sri Lanka back even further in the 40th over. First Sangakkara was unable to get underneath a full delivery and hit it in the air as Vinay Kumar took a high catch at mid-on. Then Kusal Perera rushed down the track to play at a length ball. The ball turned and the batsman missed and Dhoni disturbed the stumps. Sri Lanka were suddenly at 176 for five.

Ravindra Jadeja then got in amongst the wickets as Dinesh Chandimal got a top edge off a sweep and Ashwin took a simple catch at deep backward square-leg. Then captain Angelo Mathews, in an attempt to get quick runs towards the end, played wildly to a very short delivery from Ishant. He skied it and Vinay Kumar took the catch right in front of the boundary at third-man.

Jadeja then got the wickets of Rangana Herath and Lasith Malinga in a span of three deliveries. Sri Lanka did however manage to reach the 200-run mark in the 48th over. Jadeja then got his fourth wicket of the match as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 201 in 48.5 overs. The momentum was in India’s favour as the innings concluded.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka 201 in 48.5 overs (Kumar Sangakkara 71, Lahiru Thirimanne 46; Ravindra Jadeja 4 for 23, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2 for 24, Ravichandran Ashwin 2 for 42) vs India.

Full Scorecard

(Shrikant Shankar previously worked with Mobile ESPN, where he did audio commentary for many matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20. He has also written many articles involving other sports for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)