6th Match: India v Sri Lanka at Colombo, 28 Jul 2001|
Sri Lanka innings:
The visitors need another 62 runs in 20 overs with eight wickets in hand to record their first win of the tournament.
After the loss of Virender Sehwag Indian stand in captain Dravid walked into the middle and continued without any further loss.
Muttiah Muralitharan tightened things up for the visitors as his introduction dried the run flow, but he couldn’t provide the crucial breakthrough. In his first spell he bowled five overs and that cost just six runs with two maidens.
India’s 100 runs came in 23.4 overs with Dravid and Laxman continuing to look steady.
Laxman went on to make his second 50 of the tournament in 80 deliveries and 106 minutes with six boundaries.
At the end of the 30th over the Indians were 122 for two with Laxman on 52 and Dravid on 32.
Chaminda Vaas started off bowling the first wide of the match. But in his second ball he was right on the spot with the wicket of Amay Khurasiya, playing in this game in place of Sourav Ganguly. Khurasiya trying to drive the ball through the covers missed the delivery completely and was clean bowled.
VVS Laxman who came at the fall of the first wicket, however, made sure that the India remained very much in the hunt. He scored three boundaries off Vaas' second over with two cover drives and a pull.
In the first five overs the Indians scored 25 runs and by the end of the 10th over they were 42 for one.
Dilhara Fernando bowled a superb first over in which he had Virender Sehwag put down by Mahela Jayawardene at the first slip with the batsman on seven. He continued to bowl impressively and in his second over he beat Sehwag on three occasions without finding the edge of the bat.
Fernando however was wayward in his next two overs and was replaced by Kumar Dharmasena in the 14th over of the innings. Dharmasena provided an immediate breakthrough as Virender Sehwag found the safe hands of Kumar Sangakkara at mid off when attempting a drive. Shewag made 27 in 41 balls and 60 minutes with five boundaries.
Sri Lankan captain, Sanath Jayasuriya’s 57 was the only spark of the Sri Lankan innings. Apart from Romesh Kaluwitharana and Marvan Atapattu the rest of the Sri Lankan batsmen paid a brief appearance to the wicket and liked the comfort of the dressing room moer than the heat at the middle.
After Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana put up a 103 run partnership for the first wicket in 24 overs the rest of the batting collapsed. Jayasuriya was the only batsman to go past 50 and apart from him only three other batsmen crossed double figures.
Kaluwitharana’s unusually slow innings ended when he offered an easy catch to Reetender Sodhi at short extra cover trying to drive Yuvraj Singh. In his 46, Kalu hit three fours, faced 97 balls and was at the middle for 120 minutes
Mahela Jayawardene’s dismal form continued. The batsman who has so far had scores of 14,0,0, this time departed having made just five in 12 balls and 13 minutes. Once again it was a soft dismissal for Jayawardene. The batsman jumped at a Hemang Badani delivery, and only managed to edge the ball behind the stumps to Sameer Dighe.
Marvan Atapattt was the next to go, trying to lift the run rate clipped the ball on the on-side. Sodhi took his second catch of the match to dismiss the batsman at 34 in 47 minutes and 51 balls.
Chaminda Vaas who was sent in at number five ahead of the other established batsmen made five before he offered a catch to Yuvraj Singh at short fine leg with Sri Lanka on 160 for four.
Any hopes of Suresh Perera reviving Sri Lanka’s hopes faded away when Zaheer Khan clean bowled him with a superb yorker for four in 11 balls and 13 minutes with Sri Lanka on 177 for six.
At the same score, Sri Lanka lost man of the match of the last game Russell Arnold when the batsman cutting hard at Ashish Nehra offered a catch to Yuvraj Singh at backward of point. He made 11.
At the other end Zaheer Khan sent Kumar Dharmasena back to the pavilion with just one run added to the score. Dharmansena flashed at a wide delivery and nicked the ball to Sameer Dighe behind the stumps for one.
Muttiah Mutalitharan walked in with Sri Lanka struggling at 178 for eight. The offie stayed at the crease for three minutes and faced four balls before returning to the pavilion when Nehra uprooted his leg stump.
Kumar Sangakkara playing his first match of the series was the last man to go when he was run out for two with Sri Lanka on 183.
For India, Zaheer Khan bowled impressively as he got two wickets for 30 runs. Harbajan Singh was the most successful with 2 wickets for 32 runs in his allotted 10 overs.
Earlier, Sri Lankan captain, Jayasuriya reached his 44th One- Day International half century when he pushed Virender Shewag for a single. The half-century came in 62 balls and 92 minutes with five boundaries and a six.
Sri Lanka’s 100 came in 23.2 overs with captain Jayasuriya on 56 and Romesh Kaluwitharana on 31.
Harbhajan Singh dismissed the Sri Lankan captain for the second time in the series when Jayasuriya going for a sweep found the safe hands of Amay Khurasiya at the mid wicket boundary with the score on 103. When he was dismissed the captain had made 57 off 72 balls and 101 minutes.
The hosts, started off with the famous opening duo of the 1996 World Cup, Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana. The pair rather than smashing everything that was bowled at them, mixed some caution with aggression judiciously. Romesh Kaluwitharana, who at the end the end of the 15th over had scored just 18 off 50 deliveries was especially careful and looked to get well set. Meanwhile skipper Jayasuriya helped himself to 34.
Kaluwitharana, who is opening the innings after a while got to his first 14 runs dashing at everything. After getting to 14 runs the Lankan stumper failed to score of the next 14 deliveries.
The 50 run partnership for the first wicket came off the first ball of the 10th over when the left handed Jayasuriya cut Ashish Nehra for a boundary.
Kaluwitharana was lucky to survive a confident shout for leg before when he had just 7 runs off the first over. Zaheer Khan was the bowler on the occasion and Asoka de Silva the umpire.
Stand in captain, Rahul Dravid decided to introduce the spin of Harbajan Singh before the end of the first 15 overs. In the next over, Reetender Sodhi, was brought in from the Khetarrama End, thereby enforcing a double change.
India are minus their captain, Saurav Ganguly, who has been suspended by match referee Cammie Smith for one match, for showing dissent when he was given out by umpire Gamini Silva in the last match against New Zealand.
Rahul Dravid acts as the stand-in captain. India have brought in hard hitting Amay Khurasiya in place of Ganguly.
Sri Lanka meanwhile have brought in Kumar Sangakkara for this game in place of Avishka Gunawardene. Sangakkara will be playing this game as a batsmen in the middle order.
The visitors are also having few injury scares. VVS Laxman is facing a knee injury and is expected to go home after this match for surgery. The Hyderabad batsman has been ruled out of the Test series against Sri Lanka which follows as the injury will take close to four weeks to heal .
The match is being played in a new pitch, which has not been used in this series so far.
It is a big day for the Indians as they take on the home side Sri Lanka. India has to win today, to keep their chances of reaching the final. Sri Lanka beat India by six runs in their previous encounter in this tournament. They have virtually assured themselves a place in the final, winning all three matches so far.
The Teams are as follows:
India: AR Khurasiya, V Shewag, VVS Laxman, R Dravid, Hemang Badani, Yuvraj Singh, RS Sodhi, +SS Dighe, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, A Nehra. 12th man AB Agarkar.
Sri Lanka: *ST Jayasuriya, MS Atapattu, DPMD Jayawardene, RP Arnold, +RS Kaluwitharana, K Sangakkara, HDPK Dharmasena, ASA Perera, WPUJC Vaas, M Muralitharan, CRD Fernando. 12th Man: LPC Silva
Date-stamped : 28 Jul2001 - 19:01