Agarkar did the trick for India | india | Hindustan Times
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Agarkar did the trick for India

While Pathan proved ineffective and Sreesanth was sent on a leather-hunt by Lankans, Agarkar took five wickets for just 44 runs.

india Updated: Nov 04, 2005 11:06 IST

While Irfan Pathan proved ineffective and S Sreesanth was sent on a leather-hunt by the Sri Lankans in the fourth ODI, it was the stone-faced Ajit Agarkar who made merry and did the trick for India.

Under excellent cricketing conditions at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the heart of the city, Agarkar, fondly adorned by the sobriquet for Pune - "Queen of the Deccan", bowled a memorable spell restricting the islanders to a score of 261 with one ball to spare in the allotted 50 overs.

Agarkar, who has often been accused by the media of not making use of the comeback chances, took five wickets giving away just 44 runs in 9.5 overs.

He struck early by trapping Lankan wicketkeeper-opener Kumara Sangakkara leg before wicket, just when the latter along with the fiery Sanath Jayasurya looked like regaining their famed batting form, at a score 17 off 3.1 overs.

Agarkar struck again in similar fashion in the sixth over to remove Jayasuriya, moments after skipper Rahul Dravid - considered a safe hand at slips - dropped a plum off the left-hander.

Even as Sreesanth was doing well, beginning with a maiden, it was Agarkar who sent Tillakaratne Dilshan packing in the 30th over.

Agarkar was back again, this time in the 46th over, rattling the stumps of Farveez Maharoof and then condemning Muthiah Muralitharan's wickets to the same fate in the 48th over.

In-between, as though giving a tip or two to the out-of-form Chaminda Vaas, he bowled an outswinger that found the edge of Vaas's willow and nestled safely into the gloves of keeper MS Dhoni.

This is the second five-wicket-haul in the 27-year-old's career.