Cuttack: A sparkling innings of 96 runs from batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and valuable contributions from stand in skipper Sehwag, Yuvraj and Karthik saw India beat Lanka at Cuttack and take a 2-1 lead in the five match ODI series.
Tendulkar-Karthik’s 70-run unbeaten stand ensured that India beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets after spinner Ravindra Jadeja scripted a mid innings Lankan collapse to bundle the visitors out for 239 from a strong position.
Lankans were 165 for one, with Kumar Sangakkara and Upul Tharanga going great guns, but once they lost Sangakkara, the floodgates seemed to open for India as they picked wickets at regular intervals. Jadeja returned with bowling figures of 10 overs- 32 runs and four wickets.
Infact, out-of-form Ishant Sharma, who was having a harrowing match until then, inflicted two crucial blows on the Lankan camp by picking up two wickets in consecutive balls and broke the Lankan backbone. Jadeja then joined Ashish Nehra to polish off the tail and set India the perfect platform.
Scorecard: Ind Vs SL »
India did just that. Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar rode their luck to take the attack to the opposition and seemed to be in a hurry as India raced to the 50-run mark in the 7th over of the innings.
But Sehwag’s daredevilry proved his ultimate nemesis. A hard and wild slash through the off side landed straight into prowling Dilshan’s hands at covers. India lost their stand-in skipper at 55 as Lanka heaved a sigh of relief.
Gautam Gambhir, who joined Sachin after Sehwag’s departure, straightaway got into grove with strike rotation being the main feature of the partnership that helped India over the 100- run mark. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, brought into attack Ajantha Mendis as early as 12th over of the innings but failed to make any impact as Tendulkar brought up his 93rd ODI fifty during the course.
As Tendulkar carried bulk of the batting, Yuvraj Singh (23), Gautam Gambhir 32 and Dinesh Karthik (36) chipped in with valuable contributions. The little master remained just 4 runs short of yet another ODI century.
Nevertheless, India would take a leaf out of today’s performance as the team did well in stopping Tillakaratne Dilshan from scoring yet another nerve wracking innings. The Lankan batting sensation scored 41 off just 18 balls.
In the end, it was Ravindra Jadeja who was rightly adjudged Man of the Match award for a match-winning spell and giving India the right momentum for rest of the series.
India (Playing XI): Virender Sehwag(c), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Ishant Sharma
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara(w/c), Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Kapugedera, Thilina Kandamby, Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedara