Pathan And Pathan Show Is Too Much For Sri Lanka
India 174-7 (Raina 35, I Pathan 33no, Bandara 3-32) beat
Sri Lanka 171-4 (Dilshan 61, Jayasuriya 33, Y Pathan 2-23) by 3 wickets
Only Twenty20 International, Colombo
By Graham Wilson
Irfan and Yusuf Pathan shared an explosive unbeaten half-century partnership to ensure India celebrated victory in the first ever Twenty20 International in Sri Lanka.
Irfan (33 not out) and Yusuf (22 not out) came together with India in trouble chasing 172 to win but steered their side to a win with four balls to spare, Irfan sealing the victory with a huge six over midwicket.
Irfan had earlier endured a poor time in the field, dropping Tillakaratne Dilshan in the first over of Sri Lanka's innings, enabling the captain to go on and top score with 61 as the home side reached 171 for four.
Sanath Jayasuriya hammered 33 in 17 balls and Chamara Kapugedera 16 from nine before Indian spinners Yusuf Pathan (2-23) and Ravi Jadeja (0-29) slowed them down.
Sri Lanka accelerated again when the quick bowlers returned, with Chamara Silva (21 not out) and Kaushal Weeraratne (10 not out) hitting out at the death.
India's innings followed a very similar pattern although they lost more wickets on their way to victory. Gautam Gambhir took 13 off the first over from Lasith Malinga before Virender Sehwag (1) was superbly run out by Chamara Kapugedera and next ball Gambhir was caught by Weeraratne off of Thilan Thushara's first ball.
Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina added 67 for the third wicket to steady the ship before Jehan Mubarak had Yuvraj caught behind for 32 and Malinga Bandara captured the scalps of Raina (35), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (13) and Jadeja (5). Jayasuriya bowled a brilliant spell of one for ten in three overs and was perhaps unlucky not to be given a fourth over.
It might have made all the difference as after the left-armer had got rid of Rohit Sharma for four, Malinga and Dilhara Fernando, neither of whom bowled with anything like enough control to close out the match, allowed the Pathan brothers to smash four sixes and five fours between them to seal the match in emphatic style.
© Cricket World 2009