Friday, December 4, 2009

Sehwag Mauls Sri Lanka

Virender Sehwag hit the second fastest double century to send Sri Lanka into complete disarray, as India take a lead of 50 runs in the third Test match against Sri Lanka here in Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai.

Earlier, in the morning Sri Lanka resumed their first innings and was all out for 393. Young all rounder Angelo Matthews missed what could have been his first hundred in Test Cricket. He was run out when he was on 99, thanks to a brilliant throw from Sachin Tendulkar. Harbhajan Singh finished with 4 wickets; Pragyan Ojha took 3, whereas pacers Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth took a wicket each.

India began their innings in style; thanks to a brilliant innings from Virender Sehwag and replacement opener Murli Vijay. The usual roles get reversed, as Vijay started to hammer the Sri Lankan pacers, whereas Sehwag started off cautiously. Soon Sehwag came out of his skin and started to dominate the bowlers with cuts, pulls, drives, hooks, inside-out shots and every other shot mentioned in the book. Vijay was also elegant with his timing and the shots he played were simply exquisite. Vijay got out when he was trying to play a sweep shot against Rangana Herath. He made 87 off 122 balls with XX and 1 six off Muttiah Muralitharan. Rahul Dravid then joined Sehwag. But the dismissal of Vijay didn’t seem to disturb Sehwag, as he continued to play shots all over the park. Soon he completed his hundred and rose to 150 in no time. Rahul Dravid continued to play good shots as well and never seem to give a chance to the Lankans. Sehwag then completed his 6th double century. He became the 1st Indian to hit 6 double centuries. As soon as his double hundred came, he became crazy and started to play amazing shots. There was no respite for any Sri Lankan bowler. It can be seen from the economy rate of all the bowlers; the lowest being 4.56 of Welegedara. The Indian run rate was 5.61 at the end of the day’s play. Be it Muralitharan, or Herath, Matthews, Welegedara or ODIs best bowler Nuwan Kulasekara; there was no respite for any bowler.

India finished the day at 443-1 off just 79 overs. It would be very interesting to see, whether or not Virender Sehwag would be able to complete his third triple hundred or not. If he does so, he would not only be the first Indian in the world to do so, but the first batsmen in the world as well.

Records that were either broken or are on the verge of it:

• Sehwag’s 200 off just 168 balls is the second fastest double century in Test Cricket, behind New Zealander Nathan Astle off 153 balls.
• Sehwag is the first Indian to register six double centuries, outstripping Rahul Dravid’s five. Only Sir Don Bradman (12), Brian Lara (9) and Wally Hammond (7) have more.
• 284 is the 3rd most runs scored in a single day, behind Bradman’s 309 in 1930 and Wally Hammond’s 295 in 1933.
• First Indian to post four 250-plus innings. Only Sir Don Bradman (5) has more.
• Sehwag has made 200 runs in a day thrice. No other Indian has done it even once.
• Reached 6,000 runs from 123 innings, the 3rd fastest Indian after Sunil Gavaskar (117) and Sachin Tendulkar (120)
• Sehwag has a strike rate of 80.48, the best among the batsmen with over 6,000 Test runs. Viv Richards has the next best strike rate of 69.28
• India’s 443-1 is the most they’ve ever got in a single Test-day. Add Lanka’s 27 and an amazing 470 runs were scored on Thursday.


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