If India hoped to recreate some mayhem amongst the Sri Lankan line up, there was none forthcoming. If anything, the Indian bowlers were at the brutal receiving end of some scintillating stroke play by Tillekeratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara in the ODI tri series final at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.
Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first. With no demons whatsoever in the pitch, Sri Lanka quickly moved from sedate to thundering, keeping the run rate at a healthy rate with opener Dilshan in fine form, flourishing on the errors of the Indian bowlers.
There was little in the body language of the Indians on the field to suggest they were anywhere near as fired up as they were in the previous encounter and it showed in the manner in whcih they were pulverised in the course of hte innings as it panned out.
The Sri Lankan innings was fashioned around two key partnerships, one of 121 between the opening pair that included Mahela Jayawardene and a third wicket partnership of eighty-five between Dilshan and the Sri Lankan captain.
Dilshan was particularly severe in his century, making 110 off 115 balls and ensuring that Sri Lanka were always setting their sights on the 300 mark at the close of the innings. When Dilshan departed, Sangakkara took on the onus, capitalizing on any waywardness from the Indian bowlers, and pushing Sri Lanka’s score along as he made a breezy sixty-two ball seventy-one.
India seemed resigned to chasing down a huge total to win the final match, and will certainly hope the pitch remains true int he second half of the innings, even under lights, and that their younger batsmen can keep pace with Virender Sehwag in the lead chasing down Sri Lanka’s total of 299 for eight.
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