Cricket: India VS Sri Lanka, 4th ODI
With India winning the 3rd ODI and leading the series with against Sri Lanka 2-1 , I expected a few experiments with the Indian sqaud, which they did, but not the changes I had hoped for… Rahul Sharma had been dropped while Rohit Sharma was still in the side! At first I suspected that Ten Cricket must have got it wrong considering both of the players were R.Sharma, but sadly it wasn’t a mistake. When I realized that Manoj Tiwary was in for Rahul Sharma , I was simply confused .
In it’s last few games India had opted for the 5 bowler strategy, but today they were relying on part timers to bowl the 10 overs. This is the sort of experimentation you do when you are sure you can’t lose the series. Sri Lanka on the other hand looked to win this game, but Sangakaara’s injury didn’t help as they had to get in less experienced Lahiru Thirimanne along with Nuwan Pradeep replacing Udana. Sri Lanka won the toss and Jayawardene stuck to his theory of batting first on a high scoring flat pitch.
Sri Lanka had a brilliant start with Dilshan and Tharanga scoring their runs quickly. The Sri Lankan crowd were estatic supporting their team for a do-or-die match against the visitors. But the crowd went quiet when Ashok Dinda got the first breakthrough in the 18 over dismissing Dilshan. Tharanga din’t stay too long after that, getting stumped to Ashwin. Chandimal and Thirimanne had a small but important partnership which got Sri Lanka back into a comfortable position. Dhoni then got in the part timers hoping to do some damage but to me it din’t look like it was going to happen. That’s when I was proved wrong.
Tiwary who came in for Rahul Sharma did do justice to that position by taking 4 wickets! Sehwag also did some damage dismissing the Sri Lankan captian Mahela Jayawardene but the man of the moment was clearly Manoj Tiwary who before this was known only for his batting. Sri Lanka had put up 250 on the board, but that din’t look threatening for India considering their long batting line up.
India din’t have the great start as the Lankans did, losing both their openers before 10 overs were completed. Rohit Sharma blew away another opportunity, which I feel is one too many times, managing to make just 4 runs. On the other hand, Virat Kohli looked quite vibrant and had already settled into the wicket joined by Tiwary coming in for Rahul Sharma, but he unable to replicate the same success with the bat as he had done with the ball. At that point it could have been anyone’s game but Virat Kohli had made sure he took India to a victory scoring a well composed century along with Suresh Raina who played a good supporting role.
The Sri Lankan batsmen were not able to to capitalize the great start they had and probably underestimated the Indian part timers (like me) which led to them to post a total which, eventually, did not challenge India’s batting order. Virat Kohli got man of the match for his brilliant unbeaten 128. With this victory India win the ODI series against Sri Lanka. The last ODI will be a matter of pride for the Lankans and would give the Indians a chance to experiment even more, might be the last chance for Rohit Sharma. Due to this victory India have won their third consecutive bilateral series in Sri Lanka, not losing a bilateral series in Sri Lanka since 1997 continues.
India 255 for 4 (Kohli 128*, Raina 58*)
Sri Lanka 251 for 8 (Tharanga 51, Tiwary 4-61)
India win by 6 wickets