Nagpur: Sri Lanka posted a superb 29-run win over hosts India with a clinical and efficient all-round show. They batted brilliantly, fielded all right and bowled tight.
With the first T20 encounter gone to the islanders, Dhoni’s men would have to come up with something extra special to stop the visitors from making a clean sweep of the T20 duels of the tour.
Gautam Gambhir’s efforts had set the stands on fire with his pyrotechnics as he was slamming boundaries at will. His four consecutive fours off Lasith Malinga, dissecting the fielders gave a glimpse of his purple form with the willow. His fifty came up in just a matter of nineteen balls. His innings came to an end with an Angelo Mathews delivery at a score of fifty five runs. This is where things got a bit cramped for the hosts.
The Indian middle order snapped like a biscuit as Sri Lanka claimed Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh even before a partnership could be carried forward. MS Dhoni had not lasted long after Gambhir’s departure and the induction of spin worked for the visitors with the game slipping out of their hands in the middle.
In the first half of the match, Kumar Sangakkara proved to be Dhoni’s chief nemesis as he blasted an array of fours and sixes and his support from the other end too was solid. The result was the registering of a mammoth 215 runs in the stipulated twenty overs.
Sangakkara was a man possessed, slamming his fifty in a mere 21 balls, a tone that marked the rest of his innings as he raced to seventy eight runs off just thirty seven balls.
The Indian team’s affliction could be assessed from the fact that this is the highest total by any team against India in an international T20 match.
The wickets were there, but a tad bit too late as the scoring was always racing away towards the 200-run mark from the word go.
Scorecard: India Vs Sri Lanka »
Ashok Dinda, the debutant, had made his presence felt early-on in the match as he drew first blood for India, claiming the dangerous Sanath Jayasuriya for a score of 26 runs, but that was all we got to see from his stable.
The Indian fielders too, had a nippy day on the greens as Yuvraj Singh gave a breather to the visitors as he dropped the dangerous Jayasuriya when the blaster was not even in double digits. Even Dilshan was dropped by Ishant off his own bowling at a score of thirteen runs.
With the fielding at an all time low and the batsmen not clicking together, Dhoni would have his work cut out before the second T20 match on December 12 at Chandigarh.
First Published: Wednesday, December 09, 2009, 21:04