It was Sehwag’s day: Mathews | cricket | Hindustan Times
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It was Sehwag’s day: Mathews

The batsman from Delhi is quite a charmer. And he charmed his way to an unbeaten 284 in only 239 balls with two scores boundaries and seven sixes. Even the opposition was smitten. “He is Virender Sehwag,” shrugged Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews twice during the course of Thursday’s press conference, Deepti Patwardhan reports.

cricket Updated: Dec 07, 2009 20:02 IST
Deepti Patwardhan

Murali Vijay stared, gave it a thought. What did he think of (Virender) Sehwag’s batting? “Fantastic.” Too trite. “Actually I have no words to describe it,” he continued. From the dominant batting partner in the morning, by the end of play on Thursday, Vijay had transformed into an awed, articulate admirer of Sehwag.

The batsman from Delhi is quite a charmer. And he charmed his way to an unbeaten 284 in only 239 balls with two scores boundaries and seven sixes. Even the opposition was smitten. “He is Virender Sehwag,” shrugged Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews twice during the course of Thursday’s press conference.

As a bowler, he had crossed Sehwag’s path in six overs. His senior colleagues had bowled a little more, but would quickly like to forget the mayhem in Mumbai.

At the end of the second day of the third Test, India stood at 443 for one, 50 runs in the lead, and having ripped through Sri Lanka’s confidence.

While the pitch played diplomat on the first day, pleasing seamers, spinners and the batsmen, it turned coat on the second. It was flat and the Sri Lanka bowlers didn’t help their cause by giving batsmen far too much room to manoeuvre.

“The pitch eased out a lot today, it was a good batting track,” defended Mathews. “Wednesday it was turning a lot. Simply put it, it was Sehwag’s day today. We tried all the things we could, but he is a dangerous batsman once he gets going.”

Mathews was run out on 99 in the morning and Vijay fell 13 runs short of his maiden Test hundred for India. Unlucky both.

Unlucky still to have achieved their best scores in the longest version on the game, on the same day that Sehwag decided to have a mad dash at 300 in one day.

He is yet to get there but already scored most number of double centuries for an Indian and crossed 6000 runs in Tests.

“It was a learning experience for me just to watch him,” added Vijay. The Tamil Nadu batsman is already standing in for Gautam Gambhir, and had to remain under Sehwag’s shadow for the day.

“I will get my turn,” the 25-year-old said. “Gautam and Viru are doing a great job for India. This is a learning curve for me and I am living it right now; whatever chances I get to play for India, I will try to do my best.” Vijay and Rahul Dravid (62) provided their share of headache for the Sri Lankans. But the visitors are not giving up.“It’s not over yet,” said Mathews. At the moment, that seems as convincing as Sri Lanka’s bowling on this day.