Pitch unfit, Kotla ODI to be abandoned?

Trouble and more trouble sought Sri Lanka’s way as the visitors lost two more wickets in quick successions with their scorecard crying for help at 63/5. Earlier, Harbhajan Singh dismissed Sanath Jayasuriya for 31 runs and later, Suresh Raina’s prompt fielding led to the dismissal of Thilan Samaraweera (2).

Updated: Dec 27, 2009, 11:46 AM IST

Zeecric Bureau

New Delhi: Trouble and more trouble sought Sri Lanka’s way as the visitors lost two more wickets in quick successions with their scorecard crying for help at 63/5.

Harbhajan Singh finished the job of blowing up the entire top-order of the visitors by dismissing Sanath Jayasuriya for 31 runs. Harbhajan cleverly fired in the quicker delivery and caught Jayasuriya plumb in front of the wickets. This was Bhajji 100th ODI wicket in India.

Later, Suresh Raina’s prompt and intelligent fielding led to the dismissal of Thilan Samaraweera (2). More credit should be given to terrible running between the wickets by the Lankan batsmen, Samaraweera and Thilina Kandamby.

Kandamby angled the ball of Sudeep Tyagi’s delivary to cover and set off for a single. Samaraweera hesitated for a while but finally decided to go, but instead gave Raina enough time to pick the ball and hit the stumps directly.

For Debutant Tyagi, this could even be the best start for him as he dismissed Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara, to leave the opponents three down for 58 runs.

Sri Lanka surely looked in trouble as the skipper added just one run to the team’s score. However, it was indeed a moment to cherish as Tyagi grabbed his maiden ODI wicket and Suresh Raina, after repeated errors on the fielding ground, finally managed to take Sangakkara’s catch.
Earlier, became the man of the hour for India as he grabbed two important wickets for the home team. First, he dismissed Upul Tharanga for a duck on the very first ball of the match itself, thus giving a perfect start to India. Then later, he send Tillakaratne Dilshan packing for 20 runs, leaving the visitors’ scorecard looking a bit rickety at 39/2.

After the dismissal of Tharanga, Dilshan, along with Sanath Jayasuriya, did manage to give some stability to their team’s scorecard, but their effort did not last long.

Meanwhile, Dilshan was hit on the left elbow off an Ashish Nehra delivery, which did scare the visitors for a while. He, however, was soon back on his feet and looked poised to take his innings further, until Zaheer played the spoil sport.

Earlier, Uncertain of the course which the dew-sodden the Kotla wicket would take, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni elected to field first after winning the toss at the fifth and the final one-day international match against Sri Lanka.
As the national capital woke up to a foggy morning earlier today, the final ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium got delayed by fifteen minutes on Sunday due to wet out-field.

Having already sealed the series 3-1, Team India got the most of the Lankan tour as they first won the Test series comprehensively, and now, have also clinched the ODI series with a game to spare.

India went into the match without Sachin Tendulkar as Dhoni returns to the team after serving a two-match ban for the team’s slow overrate in the second ODI in Nagpur. India also handed Sudeep Tyagi his maiden ODI cap, who replaced paceman Ishant Sharma.

Sri Lanka made two changes. Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga were replaced by M Pushpakumara and Chanaka Welegedara.

With both the team’s playing their last matches of the year, the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch curator promised a sporting wicket.


Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara(w/c), Sanath Jayasuriya, Thilan Samaraweera, Thilina Kandamby, Muthumudalige Pushpakumara, Thissara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Suraj Randiv, Chanaka Welegedara

India: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Sudeep Tyagi