Cricinfo: Sri Lanka v India 2008 Cricinfo Intel

2nd Test: Sri Lanka v India at Galle, Jul 31-Aug 4, 2008

Ishant inspires India to victory

Ishant Sharma

On a pitch and in a series where the fast bowlers have only been making numbers, a hostile and fast Ishant Sharma helped India finish an incredible comeback after they had slumped to their third-worst defeat ever in the first Test. Ishant was accurate, he hit the bat hard, gave Dinesh Karthik some more hard time behind the wicket, and most importantly kept bowling his special delivery: the one that holds its line after having pitched on a length.

Ishant began with a wicket with the third ball he bowled, sending down a perfect right-armer's ball to a left-hander, pitching it around leg and moving it away, making Malinda Warnapura play and edge. And in his next over, Ishant got the biggest wicket for India Mahela Jayawardene, who looked to counterattack and cut straight to gully, where Rahul Dravid held on to a sharp chance.

Those wickets left Sri Lanka reeling, but there was one final twist left in the match, and Ishant it was who pulled India out of a threatening situation. Thilan Samaraweera and Tillakaratne Dilshan had put together a swift 76-run stand, pulling Sri Lanka out of the shell they had played themselves into. Dilshan, in particular, hustled around to change the texture of the game. Ishant came up with a special over after tea, bowling at high pace, getting extra bounce, and also getting the ball to hold its line. After having beaten Dilshan twice, he finally got him to edge one, and it was all downhill for Sri Lanka after that.

ODI 1 | ODI 2 | ODI 3 | ODI 4 | ODI 5
Test 1: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4
Test 2: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4
Test 3: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4