Lanka trounce India to lift IndianOil Cup
Both Sri Lanka and India had their chances. But Sri Lanka showed great character to win the match and the tournament.india Updated: Dec 29, 2005 15:39 IST
One-day cricket can be cruel. Not that cricketers aren't aware of this but the game keeps reminding them that many highs and lows can be reached in a single day. Only the team that has more highs than lows goes far. And that was the difference between the winners and losers in the IndianOil Trophy final at the Premadasa stadium here.
Both Sri Lanka and India had their chances. But Sri Lanka showed great character to win the match and the tournament.
After winning the crucial toss, the hosts could not get off to a flier despite having the experienced openers Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya. Two wickets fell in a short period Jayasuriya built the platform along with Man-of-the-Match and Man-of-the-Series Mahela Jayawardene. Russel Arnold joined them to nullify Indian speedster Ashish Nehra's career-best showing, allowing Lanka to reach 281.
Virender Sehwag Sourav Ganguly walked in under pressure to perform. Sehwag, in particular, had to overcome a series of poor scores. And he did what he is famous for. He picked on Farveez Maharoof but paid more attention to Dilhara Lokuhettige. The latter came in for some brutal treatment in the sixth over. A full-blooded boundary through the covers, another one off a thick edge, then a mighty six over long-off, a four to midwicket, a four to long-on and another to the extra-cover fence. The packed stadium was stunned.
India were cruising at 60 without loss after just six overs. Suddenly, the 282-run target wasn't looking very difficult as the Delhi dasher joy rode his way to 48 from just 21 balls.
The only thing required now was good planning. He just had to be a bit calculating by taking on the weaker bowlers. But he did not care. He wanted to demolish eve Chaminda Vaas, playing his first game of the tri-series. He tried an ambitious cut off a short-of-a-length delivery but played on. Sehwag neither cared for his fifty nor for the team.
The 30,000 crowd brought life back into Premadasa's stands.
Rahul Dravid (69) and Yuvraj Singh (42) tried hard to carry India towards the target but they were too slow and the asking rate kept on creeping.
Yuvraj's departure meant Mohammed Kaif was under great pressure to score at a fast clip. And as the pressure grew so did the errors.
Called the livewire of the team, somehow Kaif was involved in two run-outs, the crucial one being his skipper.
In between, Dhoni could not handle the pressure and succumbed. Murali who bowled with great skill and confused the batsmen, uprooted the stumps of Pathan with a straighter one. Finally Kaif also departed but India had lost the match because the entire middle order had batted at a very slow pace.
The two Australians - Greg Chappell and Tom Moody - had completely different fortunes. Moody had a bunch of players who were throwing themselves about without caring much for injuries and personal milestones. While Chappell was carrying a group of stars, who ended up flat on the ground.
|ODI Career Batting - Ten Most Runs|
|PA de Silva||308||296||30||9284||145||34.90||81.13||11||64||95||SL|
First Published: Dec 27, 2005 18:17 IST