Match report: SL v Ind – 8th ODI
Brisbane, Feb 21: India’s chances of qualifying for the CB series finals suffered a serious setback as they lost to Sri Lanka by 51 runs here at The Gabba in Brisbane today. After putting up a huge score of 289, the Lankan bowlers, led by Thisara Perera (four for 37) and Nuwan Kulasekara (three for 40), bowled the Indians out for 238.
The match followed a similar patter to India’s encounter against the Australians a few nights ago where the former crashed to a 110-run defeat after allowing the hosts to post a score of 288. The Lankans managed to post a similarly daunting target riding on a strong batting performance.
After Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and elected to bat first, the Lankans got off to a strong start with Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan adding 95 runs for the opening wicket in 18.4 overs. Jayawardene (45) eventually fell to Pathan while Dilshan (51) scored his first half-century of the competition before edging a delivery from R Ashwin to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel. Kumar Sangakkara (8) was then dismissed by Umesh Yadav in the 28th over with the Lankan score at 124, bringing India back into the game.
A strong partnership between Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne put the Lankan innings back on track. Chandimal (38) put up a 71-run stand with Thirimanne for the fourth wicket before falling to Pathan in the 39th over of the innings. Thirimanne, meanwhile, produced a run-a-ball effort of 62 to give the innings further momentum.
After Thirimanne was caught at sweeper cover by Suresh Raina off Ashwin’s bowling, Angelo Mathews continued his good run in the tournament, hitting an unbeaten 49 off just 37 balls to take Sri Lanka’s score to 289 for the loss of six wickets in 50 overs.
With MS Dhoni sitting out this game due to the one-match suspension handed to him after the encounter against Australia, India needed their openers to get them off to a good start. However, that was not to be as Virender Sehwag (0) was caught at third-man off just the second delivery of the innings while Sachin Tendulkar (17) edged a Nuwan Kulasekara delivery onto his stumps after hitting some crisp boundaries. Gautam Gambhir (29) then became Kulasekara’s second victim of the evening when he was caught by Thisara Perera at gully in the 12th over.
From 54 for three, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina managed to put the chase back on track as they struck a 92-run stand in 19.2 overs. But Farveez Maharoof gave the Lankans a vital breakthrough when he had Raina (32) caught fending a shortish delivery in the 31st over.
Kohli produced his second half-century of the tournament off 66 deliveries, but with the asking-rate mounting, the batsman mistimed a pull shot off Perera’s bowling and was caught by Kulasekara with the Indian score at 172.
Coming in to bat at No. 7, Irfan Pathan played a blustery innings (47 off 34), but with Ravindra Jadeja (17), Parthiv Patel (4) and R Ashwin (5) not able to offer the all-rounder adequate support, India were bowled out in the 46th over of the innings with 29 balls left to be bowled in the contest.
India now play Australia on February 26 at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart in the tenth match of the tri-series competition.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 289/6 in 50.0 overs (Lahiru Thirimanne 62, Tillakaratne Dilshan 51, Angelo Mathews 49*, R Ashwin 2/50) beat India 238 all out in 45.1 overs (Virat Kohli 66, Irfan Pathan 47, Thisara Perera 4/37, Nuwan Kulasekara 3/40) by 51 runs
Man-of-the-match: Nuwan Kulasekara for an incisive spell (9-0-40-3) that derailed India’s run-chase right at the beginning