December 22nd, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on INDIA – SRILANKA 3rd ODI – CUTTACK
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Tillakaratne Dilshan reached 41 from just 18 balls, and with Tharanga and Kumar Sangakkara continuing the run riot, Sri Lanka were on the path of another massive total after deciding to bat first in Cuttack on Monday.

 But from 165 for 1 after 22.2 overs, they collapsed like nine-pins and were 239 all out. They had lost the remaining nine wickets for 74 runs. Srilanka were 51 for no loss in 4 overs.

The spinners controlled the run riot after the pace bowlers, Ashish Nehra & Co. were slammed to fences and the fielders sent on the leather hunt. It was left to Virender Sehwag, captaining in place of MS Dhoni, to give the team some respite, having Sangakkara stumped for 46, despite Dinesh Karthik initially fumbling to collect the ball.  That success was built on soon after, with Tharanga losing his off stump in Jadeja’s opening over, when he was at 73.

Sri Lanka never recovered thereafter.  Mahela Jayawardene’s poor performance at the series continued when he hit one from Harbhajan Singh to short midwicket, where Suresh Raina took take the catch. Thilina Kandamby and Chamara Kapugedera stopped the rot for a few overs, but then Jadeja and Ishant combined to end all hopes of a large total.

Nehra came on to stem the tide, and Dilshan was out on 36, as Karthik, missed the stumps and have run him out. Later Nehra got him caught behind. Sachin’s brilliance gives India 2-1 lead.

A solid dazzling knock of 96 runs from master batsman Sachin Tendulkar steered India to a 7-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the third ODI at Cuttack. Sachin Tendulkar cracked a fluent unbeaten 96 as India thrashed Sri Lanka by seven wickets in a low-scoring third one-day international to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Chasing 240 to win, Tendulkar played the sheet anchor as he ensured that India overhaul the Sri Lankan target comfortably with more than seven overs to spare at the jam-packed Barabati Stadium here.

Virender Sehwag contributed a quick-fire  44 while Dinesh Karthik and Gautam Gambhir made unbeaten 36 and 32 respectively as India reached 242 for three in 42.4 overs.

Ravinder Jadeja

Ravinder Jadeja

Earlier, young all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja turned the tide in favour of India, with his career-best bowling figures of 4-32 as India came back in the second half of Sri Lankan innings to bundle them out for 239 in 44.2 overs.

Tendulkar then supported Sehwag in the 55-run opening stand and then opened up to hit some delightful boundaries to take India past the Lankan total. Tendulkar, who scored his 93rd half-century, faced 104 balls and hit 13 fours in his knock and was just 4 runs short of the coveted hundred. Tendulkar, who reached his fifty off 52 balls, later opened up to play some exquisite shots through the gaps to the boundary to the delight of the packed Barabati crowd.

 His hand-eye co-ordination is the best in the world. He sent one bouncer to the boundary behind Sangakara and he had less than 1/10th of a second to hit the ball when it was just below his nose, perhaps one of the best shots of his career.

Yuvraj Singh did not stay long and departed after a 42-run partnership with Tendulkar as he became Welegedara’s second victim. Dinesh Karthik, who had a tough time behind the stumps, (not his fault – as he is India’s stepney wicket keeper) gave a fine support to Tendulkar at the other end remaining unbeaten on 36 from 32 balls with a six and five fours.

 Earlier, Ravinder Jadeja produced his career-best four-wicket haul as India bundled out Sri Lanka for a total 239 when eveyone was execting a 350 plus score on the board.

At the awards ceremony, Sachin Tendulkar got a ‘special prize’ for having completed 20 glorious years in cricket.

Ravinder Jadeja got the prize for the best bowler.

The Karbonn Mobile  ‘Man of the Match’ also went to Ravinder Jadeja for his excellent bowling perfomance, wherein he bagged 4 wickets for 32 runs.

The two sides now move to Kolkata for the fourth one-dayer on Thursday.

Ravi Matah

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