December 15th, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on INDIA SRILANKA – FIRST ODI
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Virender Sehwag struck a whirlwind 102-ball 146 to power India to their highest ever total in one-day cricket, a massive 414 for seven, against Sri Lanka in the first match at Rajkot on Tuesday.  Sachin Tendulkar (69) and M. S. Dhoni (72) also contributed well as India improved upon their previous best total and made 414.  Sehwag was unstoppable after a slow beginning and made a career-best 146  with 17 fours and six in 102 balls.

India started cautiously after being asked to bat first by Lanka with the openers raising only 19 in the first five overs as the ball was swinging a bit.

Sehwag and Tendulkar, who made 69 with 10 fours before being bowled by Dilhara Fernando, laid a solid foundation with a 153-run partnership after Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara opted to field first on winning the toss.

After Tendulkar’s departure in the 20th over, Sehwag, whose previous best was 130 against New Zealand in 2003, and Dhoni (72 off 63 balls) got involved in a splendid 156-run partnership for the second wicket to take India past the 300-mark in the 35th over.

Dhoni struck the ball with tremendous force through the gaps beautifully during his century stand for the second wicket with Sehwag. Lanka separated the pair within two runs and in the space of five balls after India took the batting power play. Gautam Gambhir too was sent back quickly.

 Sri Lankans later dismissed Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh as India lost five wickets for 43 runs. Virat Kohli hit a quick 27 off 19 balls with four fours while Ravindra Jadeja struck an unbeaten 30 with two sixes and a four in 17 balls to take India to their best-ever tally in ODIs. 

This match can be said as one finest in the history of ODI cricket with India beating Sri Lanka by 3 runs in a thrilling last ball decider – requiring just 5 runs.

Chasing 415, the Srilankans gave it a tough fight right till the end. But Dhoni and Company had steel nerves and two quick run outs plus a catch – in the fag end of the game changed the result in their favour.

Virendra Sehwag

Virendra Sehwag

Rajkot stadium has a monstrous pitch for the batsmen as 825 runs were scored with both the sides making over 400 runs.

 Both India and Sri Lanka matched each other pretty well as opener Dilshan hit a magnificent 160 off 124 balls while Sangakkara made 90 off 43. Sri Lanka were cruising in their run chase till the 40th over with wickets in hand and the sloppy Indian fielding also contributed by dropping some catches. But the bowling spell of Harbhajan (2/58) and excellent bowling in the end  by Zaheer and Nehra made all the difference.

Virender Sehwag got the Man of the Match award for his superb 146 runs.

The next ODI will be played on the 18th at Nagpur.


Ravi Matah

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