August 17th, 2010 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on INDIA BEAT SRI LANKA
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The Controversial Six
Virender Sehwag  helped India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets and also secure a bonus point to leave each of the three sides with a win at the end of the first round of matches in a cricket tri-series match at Dambulla on Monday.

MS Dhoni lost the toss again, but Kumar Sangakkara’s decision to bat first gave India the chance to bowl under the overcast weather at Dambulla and their bowlers cashed in with their swing on a wicket which had bounce also. Sehwag then manage to save his skin during the early Lankan attack and later slammed which would have been a classic century, but for the controversial six, which sealed victory.

Virendra Sehwag

Virendra Sehwag

The start of the game was no less dramatic as the end.  Praveen Kumar rattled the timber of Upul Tharanga with an out swinger off the first ball off the day. Sri Lanka found it difficult to adjust to the attack of Praveen as well as Ishant Sharma under cloudy skies and the batsmen struggled against the swing and deviation off the pitch and the  batsmen found it difficult to negotiate the swing in the damp weather at Dambulla.

Mahela Jayawardene had a brief stay at the crease and was trapped leg before by a Praveen in-swinger that moved back in late. Samaraweera and Sangakara also looked good in patches but went wayward in their application to the task.

Extra pace accounted for Sangakkara who was caught in the deep. Damaraweera was caught at short midwicket off a mis-timed pull.

Tillakaratne Dilshan was not comfortable at the crease, but countered the swing better than the rest, whipping Praveen’s in swingers through square leg and then latching on anything short, scoring three boundaries off the pull.

Dilshan settled in and was playing conveniently until the left-arm spin of Pragyan Ojha was introduced, making room to cut from the stumps and maintain a steady flow of runs with Angelo Mathews. But Dilshan succumbed to temptation when the ball was tossed up, and top-edged a slog-sweep to scupper a recovery he had initiated.

Pragyan Ojha took 3  Lankan wickets for 36 runs.

Dinesh Karthik could not negotiate the Lankan attack with ease and fell of a delivery which he slashed to third man.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, followed in quick succession and were seen with their heads down in the balcony.

Sehwag’s recovery effort was supported by Suresh Raina in a half-century stand. Raina rotated the strike well, and gave Sehwag the strike, before a rush of blood drove him to pull straight to deep square leg with the score on 91. Then Raina was at 20 and the shot had gained more height than the distance required.

With the scores levelled at  170 and requiring just one run to win, Sehwag stepped out and launched a six over long-off boundry. Without realising that, Sehwag raised his arms in the air in celebration only to be told that the score board would show him not out at 99.

With Sehwag batting on 99 and India requiring only one run to win, Randiv overstepped by a massive margin, depriving Sehwag of a century even though he was thumped over the long-off boundary.

This was a shocking display of unsportsmanship by Sri Lanka spinner Suraj Randiv, who bowled a deliberate no-ball to leave Virender Sehwag stranded on 99.

The scores were tied at 170 and Sehwag was just one short of his 13th Century in ODI’s, when Randiv, who has not bowled a no ball in the Test or ODI series this season, bowled a no ball which was hit by the swashbuckling opener for a six. The six however did not count because the no ball amounted to India’s winning run.

What Suraj Randiv has done is unpardonable even if he apologises a 1000 times because that moment cannot be brought back and he has brought tremendous shame to the gentleman’s game. Sangakara has the reputation of being considered as the best ‘gentleman’ in the game of cricket the world over, and if such a ‘cheap’ incident occurs on the field in his presence, then he also has to take some responsibility, as he is the Captain of Sri Lanka.

This controversy should be addressed in a positive manner as Sehwag had hit a six and the runs should be added in his account and the run for the no-ball to be added to the grand total. And what would have happened if Sehwag would have been run-out on that very ball? Would the rules grant victory to India in the scenario?

India comprehensively won the match comfortably by six wickets but the conduct of the Sri Lankan team caused upset in the Indian camp.

Later, Sehwag told journalists that they had left Sachin Tendulkar stranded at 99 with similar tactics in Cuttack. Sehwag said that Randiv had not bowled a single no ball earlier and asked “How can he bowl one at this point.”

“It was clear that the Lankan team did not want him to get his 100,” the opener said.

Ravi Matah

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