Road to World Cup Final
Mumbai: Here`s how India and Sri Lanka set themselves up for the summit World Cup clash at the Wankhede Stadium Saturday:
India vs Bangladesh, Dhaka: Virender Sehwag hit the first ball of the World Cup off Rubel Hossain for four, and the match went only one way after that. Sehwag scored 175 and Virat Kohli an unbeaten 100 as India reached 370 for four. Bangladesh could only manage 283 in reply.
India vs England, Bangalore: The match of the tournament. Sachin Tendulkar scored a sublime 120, but India lost their way after looking set for scoring a total in excess of 350 to post a still-monumental 338. England captain Andrew Strauss ruined the host`s party with an innings that outdid Tendulkar`s, and the match was tied amid much drama.
India vs Ireland, Bangalore: The match was supposed to be a cakewalk for India, but proved marginally tougher as Yuvraj Singh won his first of four man-of-the-match awards with an unbeaten 50 as the hosts chased down 207 for the loss of five wickets against a spirited Ireland team.
India vs Netherlands, Delhi: Zaheer Khan claimed three wickets as India shot the Netherlands out for 189 and had a bit of a fright when they lost four wickets for 30 runs against some disciplined bowling. But it was Yuvraj again who saved the day with an unbeaten 51 that took India home with more than 13 overs to spare.
India vs South Africa, Nagpur: India`s only loss of the tournament came against the well-balanced Proteas, who shot them out for 296 after a Tendulkar-Sehwag opening burst of 142 runs raised expectations of a total in excess of 350. Tendulkar scored his second hundred, but India lost their last nine wickets for 29 runs, and the South Africans rode on contributions from Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and J.P. Duminy to get home with two balls and three wickets to spare.
India vs West Indies, Chennai: Yuvraj Singh scored an elegant 113 to take a stuttering Indian batting effort to 268 all out, before he combined with Zaheer Khan and Ravichandran Ashwin to skittle West Indies out for 188.
India vs Australia, quarterfinal at Ahmedabad: In the match between the favourites and the defending champions, Australia batted first and posted a challenging 260 with a determined century from captain Ricky Ponting. Crucial contributions from Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina guided a tense run chase to its completion as India won by five wickets with 14 balls to spare.
India vs Pakistan, semifinal at Mohali: It was dubbed as the mother of all matches, but it fizzled out into a fairly comprehensive 29-run victory for India. Sachin Tendulkar played one of his patchy and uncharacterstic innings, giving too many chaces, but managed to score 85 courtesy of four dropped catches, as India posted 260. In the face of some disciplined bowling and regular wickets after a promising opening stand, Pakistan lost their way after having promised much in the tournament.
Sri Lanka vs Canada, Hambantota: A cakewalk if ever there was one. With a blazing half-century from captain Kumar Sangakkara and an equally electric century from Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka posted 332 for seven. Canada could manage only 122 all out as Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera grabbed three wickets apiece.
Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, Colombo: A great match, and Sri Lanka`s only loss till date in the tournament against a highly impressive Pakistan side. On the back of sparkling half-centuries from Younis Khan and Misbah ul Haq, Pakistan scored 277. All the batsmen, except Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera got amongst the runs for Sri Lanka, but in the face of Shahid Afridi`s fast spinners that earned him four wickets, Sri Lanka finished 11 short.
Sri Lanka vs Kenya, Colombo: Another minnow, another cakewalk. Lasith Malinga took six wickets, including a hattrick as Kenya were skittled out for 142. Sri Lanka barely broke a sweat as they breezed to the total for the loss of one wicket and with more than 31 overs to spare.
Sri Lanka vs Australia, Colombo: Had the potential to be a classic, but rain played spoilsport as their was only 32 overs and five balls were bowled with Australia reaching 146 for three before the game was called off.
Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe, Pallekele: Openers Tilakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga shared a mammoth stand of 282 in less than 45 overs as Sri Lanka piled on 327 runs against an outclassed Zimbabwe. Dilshan was not finished, however, as he took four wickets with his off-spin to speed Zimbabwe`s demise to 188 all out.
Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, Mumbai: New Zealand performed no better than a minnow with the bat as they were thumped by 112 runs. Sangakkara and Jayawardene were again to the fore, with the former stroking a century and the latter a fifty as Sri Lanka posted a competitive 165. On the field, when Muttiah Muralidharan started taking wickets -- he finished with four for 25 -- there was only one way the match was going.
Sri Lanka vs England, quarterfinal at Colombo: A match that promised much turned out to be the most one-sided of all. England were bogged down by Sri Lankan spin, riding on the watchful efforts of Jonathan Trott and the carefree bravado of Eoin Morgan to reach an adequate 229 for six. Or so they thought; Tharanga and Dilshan hit twin tons and remained unbeaten to deliver victory by ten wickets.
Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, semifinal at Colombo: New Zealand fared much better than when they faced Sri Lanka in the group stage. Scoring 217, they kept the hosts in check for much of the chase, but the early ground conceded to Dilshan proved fatal for the Kiwis. With a cool display under pressure, Angelo Mathews and Thilan Samaraweera took Sri Lanka home with thirteen balls to spare.