Sri Lanka 289-6 (Thirimanne 62) beat
India 238 (Perera 4-37) by 51 runs
Eighth CB Series Match, Brisbane
Sri Lanka continued their excellent recent form with a comfortable 51-run victory over India in the 8th match of the ongoing Commonwealth Bank tri-series in Australia. Nuwan Kulasekara (three for 40) and Thisara Perera (four for 37) were the stars with the ball for the Sri Lankans as they defended their total of 289 for six with ease.
The day began with Sri Lanka winning the toss, and India’s seamers again posed no real threat as Mahela Jayawardene (45 from 55 balls) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (51 from 72) shared a first wicket stand of 95. Jayawardene was eventually the first man to go, caught spectacularly by Virender Sehwag at midwicket, and this sparked something of a fightback for India as Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara followed soon afterwards to make it 124 for three.
The middle-order, however, ensured against any serious collapse as Dinesh Chandimal milked the spinners during a boundary-less 38 from 49 balls, and Lahiru Thirimanne stroked a majestic run-a-ball 62. Angelo Mathews provided the late impetus with an unbeaten 49 from just 37 balls as Sri Lanka plundered 81 from the last eight overs of their innings; with Sehwag showing little faith in his seam bowlers and using both Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina at the death with disastrous results.
In reply, Sehwag’s woes intensified as he upper cut Lasith Malinga to third man from his second ball to get India’s run chase off to the worst possible start. However, with India’s controversial rotation policy abandoned, possibly due to their loss of MS Dhoni to a one-match ban, they still had both Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar to call upon, and the two rebuilt the innings before both fell in the twenties to again squander promising starts.
It was then left to the increasingly dependable Virat Kohli to provide much of the fight, but he eventually fell for 66 in the 36th over with the required rate now well above seven an over to virtually seal the game for the Sri Lankans. Irfan Pathan had some fun with a 34-ball 47, but he was the last man to go, as Perera’s fourth wicket, to end the misery for India.
The result leaves India last in the table, with just two wins from six games, while Sri Lanka move up to second thanks to their superior bonus point haul.
© Cricket World 2012