Sri Lanka vs India ICC World Cup 2010 – It was an awesome comeback from Sri Lanka. India had galloped to 90 for 1 from 10 overs, courtesy a fiery knock from Suresh Raina, but lost their way in the next ten to reach 163. Sri Lanka need to get 144 to knock India out and keep their hopes of reaching the final four alive. It’s an increasingly slow pitch but it’s a very gettable target.
India were first slowed by the slow men, Suraj Randiv and Tillakaratne Dilshan, before the seamers led by Lasith Malinga and a surprise performer in Thissara Perera bowled superbly to suffocate India. India had moved to 119 for 2 in 14 overs and it was a make or a break moment for both teams. You would have expected India to go for the broke here but it was Sri Lanka who dominated.
MS Dhoni couldn’t get his timing going and that powerful bottom-hand was rarely seen today. Raina started dragging his shots to midwicket and lost his timing. Thilan Thushara, who leaked 27 runs from his first two overs, bowled the 15th and 18th over and found redemption as he gave away just ten runs. It included the wickets of Raina and Yuvraj Singh, who swung the full tosses to Mahela Jayawardene at deep midwicket. There was to be no run-fest in the end as Malinga and Perera applied the squeeze in the end.
It was the same duo who had starred at the start for Sri Lanka. Perera and Malinga bowled two very fine overs within the Powerplay, giving away just nine runs, but Sangakkara used five overs from the combination of Angelo Matthews and Thushara and paid heavily; they conceded 57 runs from five. You could understand the thinking behind it: Perera isn’t a new-ball bowler and so perhaps Sangakkara didn’t want to overuse him and Malinga had to be reserved for the middle and the end overs. Unfortunately, though for Sri Lanka, Mathews erred on line, often straying to the pads, and Thushara erred on length, often overpitching. And Raina indulged in style.
Raina began his assault in the final over of the Powerplay, looting 17 runs from Thushara. It was a deceptive start actually as he took his eyes off the first delivery and fended off a bouncer in an ungainly manner but was served up utter tripe for the rest of the over. An overpitched delivery on the legs was dragged to fine-leg boundary, another full delivery was creamed past mid-off, yet another fullish delivery was crashed to the straight boundary and Raina grew so confident by the end that he whipped the fifth delivery from almost outside off stump to midwicket boundary. Things, however, went pear-shaped for India from then on.
With Matthews too leaking runs, Sangakkara introduced a double-spin attack in the form of two offspinners Randiv and Dilshan. Both bowled pretty well actually, Randiv in particular impressed with the dip and the loop and Dilshan kept it tight. The seamers, then, took over and did the job.