Friday, November 27, 2009

Efficient India complete 100th Test win

India 642 (Gambhir 167, Dravid 144, Sehwag 131, Herath 5-121) beat Sri Lanka 229 (Sreesanth 5-75) and 269 (Samaraweera 78*) by an innings and 144 runs 

India achieved their biggest victory against Sri Lanka and in the process clinched their 100th Test win on the fourth day of the second Test in Kanpur. India's previous best against their neighbors was a victory by an innings and 119 runs in 1994 and they bettered that with ease today. Thilan Samaraweera resisted the inevitable with an assured fifty but it was always just a matter of time before India wrapped up the game.

The only question at the start of the day was how long Sri Lanka would delay defeat. They batted positively, adding 149 runs in the first session, but India kept taking wickets at regular intervals. Samaraweera was involved in two fighting partnerships with Prasanna Jayawardene and Ajantha Mendis, which not only proved that the pitch wasn't bad for batting but also showed the top order in poor light.

India's only concern was Zaheer Khan's no-ball problems (12 in this game and 21 in the series) but he started the day by dismissing Angelo Mathews in his first over. Mathews had hit three consecutive fours, which included a pull, and Zaheer placed a man at deep square-leg and tested Mathews with more bouncers. The first was fended off in an ungainly manner and the next was top-edged to backward point where Rahul Dravid took a lunging catch.

Samaraweera proceeded to stitch together a 61-run partnership with Prasanna who, much like in the first innings, flattered to deceive. He was looking good with his cuts and sweeps but was cleaned up by an off break from round the stumps from Harbhajan Singh. It drifted away and broke back in but Prasanna left a big bat-pad gap and was bowled. Muttiah Muralitharan indulged himself with a typical hit-and-giggle knock filled with slog sweeps but fell, going for yet another big hit.

Samaraweera, who then added 73 runs with a determined Ajantha Mendis to frustrate India, was rarely troubled during his stay, the highlight of which was a whippy on-drive to a delivery on off and middle stump from Sreesanth. He rarely looked hurried, tackled the spinners and seamers and unfurled several pleasing on drives. The series now moves to Mumbai for the third Test that starts on December 2.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details 

A thumping victory for the hosts, their 100th in Tests; they played their first in 1932-33 and won their first game in 1952 against England. The pair of Mendis and Samaraweera kept India frustrated for well over an hour but the introduction of Yuvraj Singh into the attack broke the stand. It's also their third-biggest victory (in terms of runs) in Tests. India struck an early blow this morning, getting rid of Mathews, who failed to spot a slower one. Prasanna and Samaraweera then added a half-century stand before the former fell to a beauty by Harbhajan. Herath didn't last too long, Murali entertained and left before Mendis dug in. Yuvraj, though, eventually struck, followed by Ojha, to leave Samaraweera stranded.

We'll get you the presentation details in just a bit.

Sangakkara: "It was a very good wicket. A bit in it for a few overs. It got slower and slower and made it a bit difficult to bat on. Exceptional performance by Sreesanth, great first innings by India and a poor one from us. that decided the match. We needed good partnerships; lose shots here and there, and that cost us. If the batsmen apply themselves and and occupy the crease, the the pitch is a good one to bat on. We have to be mentally strong to come back in Mumbai. We need to create chances early and take them."

Dhoni: "The wicket was quite good. Nothing even close to what we played on in Ahmedabad. The grass was kept on the track throughout. It started to turn a bit on the first day and kept a little low. It was important that we got that many runs on the first day. The changes in side brought in some fresh legs, Sreesanth is one of the best reverse swing bowlers in India. Ojha had a very good debut. It was important to win this big and gain the momentum; there will be something for the fast bowlers as well as spinners in Mumbai. It's a moment of pride for me, this 100th win, and I am honoured to be part of this side."

Sreesanth is the Man of the Match for his six-wicket match haul.

Sreesanth: "God's been kind. I have lots of people to thank. Yet to read all those messages. I'm working on my pace, am trying to get it to the 145 kmph mark, I'm feeling good. I want to thank Warwickshire and the Indian board for letting me play there, I played quite a bit of domestic cricket too and learnt a lot. There is room for improvement and I want to keep on learning. "

That's all we have from here, folks. Thanks for tuning in and sending us your feedback. Join us again for the next game on December 2, being played in Mumbai. Until then, on behalf of George Binoy and Siddarth Ravindran, this is Sid Talya signing off. Be well!


Ojha to Welegedara, OUT, this Test is over, innings and 144 run victory for India, Welegedara closes the face of the bat too soon, leading edge pops up to Ojha, India celebrate their 100th Test win, dogged effort from Samaraweera but he has run out of partners

UWMBCA Welegedara c & b Ojha 4 (5m 5b 1x4 0x6) SR: 80.00


Ojha to Samaraweera, 1 run, tossed up by Ojha, slightly full outside off, driven to extra cover, takes the single this time after refusing one off the first ball


Ojha to Samaraweera, no run, drifts into the batsman, driven towards mid-off

End of over 65 (5 runs) Sri Lanka 268/9
UWMBCA Welegedara    4* (4b 1x4)      Yuvraj Singh    2-0-7-1
TT Samaraweera    77* (121b 11x4)      S Sreesanth    11-4-47-1


Yuvraj Singh to Welegedara, FOUR, prods at the ball away from his body, drops wide of first slip, and runs away to the third man


Yuvraj Singh to Welegedara, no run, gets well forward and defends to the leg side


Yuvraj Singh to Welegedara, no run, struck on the back pad again, sliding down the leg side


Yuvraj Singh to Welegedara, no run, tossed up, blocked back to the bowler


Yuvraj Singh to Mendis, OUT, breakthrough! one wicket to go, the ball goes straight on with the arm, Mendis looks to defend off the front foot, is struck on the back pad, he's gone lbw

BAW Mendis lbw b Yuvraj Singh 27 (88m 75b 3x4 0x6) SR: 36.00


Yuvraj Singh to Samaraweera, 1 run, full and wide, punched to mid-off

Yuvraj Singh has been given the ball now

End of over 64 (6 runs) Sri Lanka 263/8
BAW Mendis    27* (74b 3x4)      S Sreesanth    11-4-47-1
TT Samaraweera    76* (120b 11x4)      Yuvraj Singh    1-0-2-0

Time for drinks, these two have done an excellent job. Samaraweera's been extremely solid and Mendis' performance just shows how favourable the track still is for batting. He's survived these 74 balls with very few hiccups. India have tried six bowlers during the course of this stand and have failed to dislodge them.


Sreesanth to Mendis, no run, wayward stuff, short and wide and leaving him further, leaves it be


Sreesanth to Mendis, no run, full on the off, coming in a hint, pushed back to the bowler


Sreesanth to Mendis, no run, gets it to reverse, comes in and lands full on middle, tries to flick it through square leg, is struck on the pads


Sreesanth to Mendis, no run, bowled it full on the off stump, defended towards cover


Sreesanth to Mendis, 4 byes, terrible delivery down the leg side, well wide of Dhoni who can't reach it diving to his left, four byes


Sreesanth to Mendis, 2 runs, angling it in towards middle and leg, works it through square leg for a couple

An hour since lunch and no wicket yet. The frustration for India grows

End of over 63 (2 runs) Sri Lanka 257/8
TT Samaraweera    76* (120b 11x4)      Yuvraj Singh    1-0-2-0
BAW Mendis    25* (68b 3x4)      SR Tendulkar    1-0-6-0


Yuvraj Singh to Samaraweera, no run, plenty of confusion as he works it away into the leg side towards square leg, there's a misfield but all's well in the end, they ultimately decide against the single


Yuvraj Singh to Samaraweera, no run


Yuvraj Singh to Samaraweera, no run, huge appeal for lbw, angling in from wide of the crease, gets outside the line to defend with a big stride, it turns away a hint to strike him on the pads


Yuvraj Singh to Samaraweera, 2 runs, comes down the track and drives it inside out wide of long-off for a couple of runs


Yuvraj Singh to Samaraweera, no run, pushed it fuller by bowling it slower through the air on the off, tries to push it into the off side, gets a thick inside edge towards midwicket

A silly point moves in


Yuvraj Singh to Samaraweera, no run, slightly short on the off, defended towards cover

Dhoni trying all his options, Yuvraj comes on

End of over 62 (6 runs) Sri Lanka 255/8
BAW Mendis    25* (68b 3x4)      SR Tendulkar    1-0-6-0
TT Samaraweera    74* (114b 11x4)      S Sreesanth    10-4-45-1


Tendulkar to Mendis, no run, pushed off the front foot towards point, giving it plenty of air is Tendulkar


Tendulkar to Mendis, no run, spun away after landing on a good length outside off, leaves it be


Tendulkar to Samaraweera, 1 run, trying to entice him with the flight, just punches it towards mid-off

Batsmen Runs B 4s 6s SR This bowler Last 10 ovs Mat Runs HS Ave
Thilan Samaraweera (rhb) 78 123 11 0 63.41 17 (49b) 15 (27b) 56 3937 231 52.49
Bowlers O M R W Econ 0s 4s 6s This spell Mat Wkts BBI Ave
*Pragyan Ojha (sla) 15.3 4 36 2 2.32 73 3 1 0.3-0-1-1 1 4 2/36 18.25
Yuvraj Singh (sla) 2.0 0 7 1 3.50 9 1 0 2-0-7-1 30 8 2/9 48.50

Recent overs . . 2 . . . | 2 4b . . . . | 1 W . . . 4 | . 1 W

Last Bat UWMBCA Welegedara c & b Ojha 4 (5m 5b 1x4 0x6) SR: 80.00

Fall of wicket: 269/10 (65.3 ov); Partnership: 5 runs, 1.1 overs, RR: 4.28 (Samaraweera 1, Welegedara 4) 

How they were out 

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