India – Still good after being hit in the head
Started off losing Tendulkar to dodgy one but then God Sehwag got in the mood.
He went through the SL bowlers like a dick on lubrication. He was helped along by the fast men who kept feeding to his strength. Bad balls went for 4, half decent balls went for 4 and after a while even the good ones did.
As I told my mate at the match, him getting himself run out was the only way SL were going to see the back of him.
Gambir came in at 3 and looked like its his god given right to bat all day,till he got a pearler from Maharoof.
3-83, SL marginally on top. Two new batsmen at the crease.
So out goes the field, only 1 fielder in the ring on the leg. This has become Mahela’s routine field and is getting annoyingly predictable.
Yuvraj, who is a wobbly starter, loved this, milked the singles off Murali and negated Mendis, again. The 6 he hit was a message which Mahala failed to decrypt.
The drinks break tactic worked for Jayawardene and had Raina having a brain freeze.
My mate and I were having a laugh at Mahela, on the fields he sets probably being what he wants when he comes out to bat these days.
Yuvraj was unlucky to given out off an inside edge the size of texas.
The batting power play worked wonders – for SL, the field was brought in, the singles dried up and the pressure was upped on the Indians.
If only Mahela would do this on his own.
Murali dint match the record, but he probably bowled the best. Mendis once again was negated early on and was once again let down by Mahela’s defensive tactics.
In the end the singles leaked cost SL the match.
Sri Lanka – a good match in hindsight
Dilshan wanted to finish the game in record time.
13 minutes later Sangakkara was walking in.
The top 3 all got out going for their shots to balls that should have been hit, they probably even went for the right shot but execution earned them 0 points.
At 3-36, with Mahela only having 129 runs to his name in 13 matches and Kandamby only 8 matches old, things werent exactly rosy for SL.
Ishant Sharma, was probably bowling one of his best spells. Bounce, pace a bit of nip. It was all there.
Zaheer looked pumped and annoyed at the same time.
100 runs later, the two had slowly, emphasis on slowly, brought back SL from the depths of humiliation.
After about 40 runs, Mahela looked his old self.
Then he smacked a 6 and got to his 50.
Scoring a 50 after 14 innings makes you forget what to do with it when you get there, after all the pushing and proding and the hard work, he got out at the worst possible time.
Kapugedaras cameo helped but it was up to Kandamby who had 40 off 80 odd to bring SL home.
Between all this Dhoni was looking good. But as SL got closer cracks started to appear. He lost his cool with a few wild throws.
Was making changes after nearly every single delivery. Dint seem to enjoy the ball change late on. So We duly hooted him from the upper stand.
When the PP was called SL were too many runs adrift but Kandamby and Kapu took on Ishant. He ended up with 4 wickets but he leaked a fair bit.
Kandamby paced his inings well, but not perfectly. Early on he was cramped and couldnt rotate the strike. If he had he would have a century and led the team to a win.
Late on the pressure was too much for the lower order. Ishant bowled a super duper death spell with yorkers and slower balls.
Losing this match was acceptable because we may have seen Mahela turn the corner and we saw Thilina come out of the closet. SL have been looking for someone like him for a while. Too soon to tell but the signs look good.
Finding their balls Moment.
Mahela – 50 runs after 14 matches. When he got to 29 My mate and I had a mini celebration. It was his highest since August 2008.
Hopefully more of the same in the next 3 matches.
Play of the day.
Zaheer bowls Maharoof with a yorker, it clips the stumps and goes for four.
The bails refused to move and Maharoof lived to fight another ball.
It was rather bizare. A while later Dhoni tried a run out by flicking the ball from his gloves to the stumps, the bails dint move then either.
And you cant beat good ol throw from the crowd to the head. The Indians made a bit of a meal of it.
We was loving it.