Tuesday, September 15, 2009

India – The Compaq Cup Winners

India won the finals of the triangular series in Sri Lanka, The Compaq Cup, by a reasonable margin of 46 runs. It was India’s 3rd straight ODIs trophy in Sri Lanka, after defeating them 3-2 in last year August and 3-1 earlier this year.

India, having won the toss decided to bat first. India made one change in the playing eleven from the team that played against Sri Lanka in the previous match. India replaced wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthik with Delhi’s young batsman Virat Kohli. Sachin open the innings with Rahul Dravid and they together put on XX for the first wicket. Dravid got out scoring a useful 39 off 56 balls. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni promoted himself to No 3 position and that move worked superbly. Dhoni scored 56 off 62 balls and together with the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, he pooled up 110 runs off 115 balls for the second wicket. Sachin Tendulkar went on to score his record 44th One day hundred. He scored 138 off just 133 balls with 10 fours and 1 six off mystery off spinner Ajantha Mendis. Yuvraj Singh joined Sachin and together they put on 71 for the third wicket. After the fall of Tendulkar’s wicket on 276, India lost two more wickets of Yousuf Pathan and Suresh Raina in a quick interval, but Yuvraj, on the other hand was scoring briskly and hit his 41st half century. India finished their innings on 319-5 off their allotted 50 overs. For Sri Lanka, Thilan Thushara was the highest wicket taker. Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis and Sanath Jayasuriya also chipped in with 1 wicket each.

In reply, Sri Lanka started briskly as Dilshan and Jayasuriya started the things in style. Dilshan in particular was superb and took full advantage of Indian pace bowling trio of Ashish Nehra, R P Singh and Ishant Sharma. He scored runs all over the park, with the trademark ‘Dilshan Scoop’, being the best. He scored 42 runs off just 29 balls with 9 fours. He was bowled superbly by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. Bhajji also dismissed Mahela Jayawardene with a simple caught and bowled. Another off-spinner Yousuf Pathan claimed the wicket of Sanath Jayasuriya, with the catch gracefully accepted by Ashish Nehra, when he was on 36. It was then a feeling of suicide attempt by Sri Lankan batsmen as Angelo Matthews and Thilan Thushara lost their wickets cheaply against some quality bowling of Indian bowlers. The hero of the last match Thilana Kandamby came to rescue the team when 6 Lankan batsmen were already sent back to the pavilion. He scored 66 runs and was the last one to got out. He scored these runs with the help of 4 boundaries and along with Chamara Kapugedera, he added 70 runs for the 7th wicket. Kapugedera scored 35 off 42 balls. After the 7th wicket, it was just the formalities left.

Sachin Tendulkar was declared both, The Man of the Match and The Man of the Series. Sachin got his, record 59th Man of the Match award and 14th Man of the Series award. Harbhajan, though finished off with 5-56 and played the main part in limiting Sri Lanka to 273.

India will certainly take some advantage with this win, in the upcoming Champions Trophy in South Africa.


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