Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dilshan guides Sri Lanka to easy win

Tillakaratne Dilshan's unbeaten 62 helped Sri Lanka cruise to an easy eight-wicket victory against India on the Duckworth-Lewis method in their rain-shortened fifth one-day international of the CB tri-series one-day international at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Tuesday.

Put into bat, India rattled up 195 for five in the allotted 29 overs after play began late due to rain but the islanders overhauled a revised target of 154 in 21 overs with 12 balls to spare.

The Sri Lankans took full advantage of batting second as they chased the revised target without much fuss to keep themselves afloat in the series, riding on contributions from Tillakaratne Dilshan (62 not out) and Sanath Jayasuriya (27 off 13 balls).

Young Rohit Sharma gave ample display of his class with an unbeaten 70 while Gautam Gambhir (35) Sachin Tendulkar (32) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (31) came up with useful contributions but all their efforts went in vain as another rain interruption immediately after the Indian innings made the equation under the Duckworth-Lewis method easier for the Lankans.

With this victory, Sri Lanka managed to keep themselves in the reckoning by taking their points tally to six from three matches.

India continued to maintain their position at the top of the table with eight points from four matches while Australia have seven points from three matches.

The action will now shift to Perth where Sri Lanka will take on Australia in a day-night encounter on Friday.

Jayasuriya provided a flying start to the Lankan chase as he blasted 27 off 13 balls with two fours and two sixes. The left-hander looked in devastating form and scored 23 in one over from S Sreesanth before being dismissed by Ishant Sharma.

Harbhajan Singh then tokk Sangakkara's wicket (10) but that hardly affected the Lankan run-rate.

Rain came down hard on India as first it intervened to have the game reduced to 29 overs-a-side which further tilted in Lanka's favour when the target, due to another spell of rain, was readjusted to 154 from 21 overs.

Earlier, Indians did enough to post a healthy 195 from their 29 overs with young Rohit Sharma providing the maximum thrust.

Sharma, who took 20 balls for his first 10 runs, struck some lusty blows to finish unbeaten on 70 off 64 balls. He shared a rollicking 68-run fourth wicket stand with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (31) to take toll of the bowling in the final few overs.

The start of the match was delayed for more than three and a half hours because of heavy morning showers and the match was reduced to 29-overs-a-side. Further rain at the end of the Indian innings saw Sri Lanka being set a revised target of 154 in 21 overs.

The Indian innings got off the mark only off the last ball of the second over before Sachin Tendulkar (32) settled into a groove to coax 45 for the first wicket with Virender Sehwag (14).

Starting with hitting Chaminda Vaas over extra-cover, the veteran played some sweet strokes, including a swept four off Vaas from outside the off-stump.

Tendulkar flicked Lasith Malinga for a four and then pulled Maharoof for another before losing his opening partner, who slashed at a delivery from medium-pacer Nuwan Kulasekara and was caught easily by the third man fielder.

Tendulkar himself departed four runs later in a similar manner when he tried to hit Fervez Maharoof through the mid-on region, but top edged it to third man. He got his runs from 30 balls and hit four fours.

Gautam Gambhir (35) and Rohit Sharma then put on 64 for the third wicket with some brisk running between the wickets before the former backed too far and was run out by bowler Lasith Malinga via a throw from point fielder Tillakeratne Dilshan.

India, who were 113 for 3 after the 22nd over, really opened out thereafter and the signal for it came from Rohit who hoisted Muttiah Muralitharan over midwicket for a massive six.

His partner Dhoni then freed his shoulders by first slamming Maharoof over extra cover and then straight drove him powerfully for yet another boundary in the same over.

India benefitted with two more fours in the next over, first Dhoni driving Chaminda Vaas into the long-off pickets and then Sharma sweetly sweeping the experienced left-arm paceman to the fine-leg fence.

At the end of the 25th over, India had moved to 152 for three.

The 26th over by Kulasekara began with Rohit driving over mid-off for a four and then steering the next over the wicketkeeper for another boundary, reaching his half-century from 53 balls with the help of four boundaries and a six.

The half-century stand between the two came from 35 balls.

No comments: