India overcame Sri Lanka in a thrilling one day international on Monday to secure the Compaq Cup. India won by 46 runs through a smashing performance by the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar and the right handed magician Harbajhan Singh.
It was established that winning the toss in Colombo was very crucial and the team that batted first would have more chances of winning the match and that is exactly what happened. Winning the toss, MS Dhoni elected to bat first, opening with Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. The pair had to work hard to get the score going as neither Nuwan Kulasekera nor Thilan Thushara were letting them off with loose half-volleys or long hops. Tendulkar however was reluctant to give in and the first ball he shot went straight to wide of mid-off for three runs.
Though Dravid, Dhoni and towards the end Yuvraj were prominent, it was undoubtedly Tendulkar who was the center of all attraction. Yesterday’s was certainly the Tendulkar of the 90’s, the way he played, ran and asked for more from every ball that came towards him. Tendulkar celebrated his ninth international century since 2007. Tendulkar shared the pitch with Dravid, Dhoni and Yuvraj, the most prominent partnership being that between him and Dravid. They scored a total of 95 runs between them to provide India with enough assurance, while the partnership took the pair to number 6 on all time partnership aggregates in one day internationals.
Sachin Tendulkar’s fantastic 138, along with Dhoni’s and Yuvraj’s 56 took India to a total of 319 for 5 wickets and it was left to Sri Lanka to turn the game in their favor through the openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya. Dilshan (42) and Jayasuriya (36) managed to put up 64 until the first wicket was dropped, and the home team gradually slipped to 131 runs for 5 wickets.
India’s opening bowler pair, Ishant Sharma and Ashish Nehra were impressive yet suffered a lot of runs. Thus Dhoni was at the mercy of Harbhajan Singh once the powerplay was announced. Harbhajan instantly clicked and his first victim was Dilshan who had hit consecutive boundaries off of both Ishant Sharma and Ashish Nehra.
The off spinner then targeted Mahela Jayawardene in his next over, dismissing him with just a single run scored. Yusuf Pathan then did his part with the ball and took off the dangerous Jayasuriya in the 11th over and Sri Lanka was left with 85 for 3 wickets. Thilan Thushara then arrived as a pinch-hitter, but proved unsuccessful to his motive, falling prey to Ishant Sharma with just 15 runs.
The wickets then kept falling gradually with Yuvraj ousting Angelo Mathews while Sangakkara was dismissed bizarrely with a hit wicket. Kandamby and Sangakkara did however score 51 runs among them to advance Sri Lanka, and after the captain’s dismissal Kandamby paired with Chamara Kapugedera who scored 35. Kandamby scored his 4th one day international 50 before Suresh Raina put an end to Kapugedera, while Harbhajan removed Kandamby.