Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Peppy Sri Lankan Youngsters Outclass Indians on a Green Pitch!!

It was a young Sri Lankan side which was up against an experienced Indian line up, high on confidence having just returned after beating the home team 3-0 in the T20I series in Australia. The first of 3 matches to be played was in the IT city of Pune and the pitch that was laid out came as a surprise to everyone who saw it. There was a tinge of green and Dinesh Chandimal had no hesitation in inserting India to bat first after he won the toss. India made just one change to the team that had won in Australia with Ajinkya Rahane coming in for Kohli who has been rested for this series. The Sri Lankan team featured plenty of new and unknown faces which were to become famous in the next hour or two.

Kasun Rajitha making his debut first snared the in-form Rohit Sharma after Rohit checked his drive which went airily towards mid-off where Dushmantha Chameera flew to his right to take a stunner. Rohit made a duck. Ajinkya Rahane, when he tried to turn the last ball off the first over to the leg side got a leading edge and Dinesh Chandimal took another brilliant catch diving forward. India, 5-2 after one over with Rajitha exploiting the little movement off the deck. In his second over, Raina was dropped on nought at third man off a wild hoick while Dhawan was missed the very next ball when Rajitha failed to intercept a ball hit in the air straight at him.

There was movement in the air and swing off the pitch and the Lankan bowlers were putting the ball in the right areas. The Indians, instead of buckling down were hell bent on hitting the cover off the ball which was almost an impossible task. Dhawan was snapped at third man to give Rajitha a much deserved third wicket, India slipping to 32-3 after 5 overs. When Dasun Shanaka was introduced in the 9th over, he nipped one past Raina's slog to disturb his timber and then in the same over a sharp lifting short ball accounted for Dhoni. Yuvraj was hit in the back of the head by Dushmantha Chameera who was clocking 145-149kph and the very next ball Yuvraj offered a simple return catch to the bowler.

The procession continued and only a 31* off 24 balls from R Ashwin saved India the blushes and the utter inaptitude of the Indian line up was put to the fore as the 9th wicket partnership between Ashwin and Nehra worth 28 the highest for them. India were bowled out for just 101 in the 19th over as the peppy pace trio of Rajitha, Shanaka and Chameera snared 8 wickets between them.

India needed quick wickets if they were to make a match of it and Nehra and Bumrah started off well with the ball still moving and making life difficult for the Lankan batsmen. Dickwella and Gunathilaka fell early to ill-advised pull shots off Nehra as Sri Lanka slipped to 23-2 in the 5th over. But those proved to be minor stutters as Kapugedara made a 26 ball 25 and Chandimal run a ball 35 before Milinda Siriwardena killed the chase with a 14 ball 21.

The young Sri Lankan team put up a Fantastico performance on a seaming wicket which the Indian batsmen were utterly incapable of negotiating and made a sub-par score which was overhauled easily to give Lanka a 1-0 lead in the three match series.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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