Once again it all started as was expected by the Indian fans. Sri Lanka’s opening batsmen failed yet again as the Lankan lions lost their first wicket in the 8th over itself on a score of 41 after they were asked to bat first by Virat Kohli. They then kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were soon 121-5.
Then Siriwardana and Kapugedra showed some resistance and class in their 91 runs stand. Finally, the Lankans ended up with 236 runs on the board at the end of their 50 overs.
As far as the Indian bowlers were concerned, Bumrah picked up 4 wickets, Chahal 2 with Pandya and Axar’s picking up 1 each. The Indian batsmen started on a positive note as Rohit was looking fluent with his shots and Dhawan, as has been the case in
last few matches, was batting just flawlessly and they soon posted 109 on the board by the 16th over itself.
But then came a 24-year-old thunderstorm named Dhananjay, who took India by surprise and shifted the complete momentum of the game towards Sri Lanka. India from 109-0 in the sixteenth over suddenly collapsed to 131-7. Be it Rohit, Rahul or Kohli no one was able to decode the mystery of his bowling. It seemed as if India would certainly
lose the match but MSDians still believed in their hero that he would certainly be able to pull it off once again as he had done a number of times in the past.
Then Mahi played in his own special style which may feel a bit irritating but is very handy when it comes to winning matches. Dhoni and Bhuvi slowly and gradually
went on with their business and without letting the Lankan captain knew they soon brought the match in a position from where losing required some talent and efforts which the current Indian team badly lacks. Then Tharanga once went to his star of the game but
Then Tharanga once went to his star of the game but this time he was thrown apart by Bhuvi who smashed him for two boundaries in the same over. The attention now completely was on Bhuvi and the cheers from Dhoni-Dhoni were now changed to Bhuvi-Bhuvi. Bhuvi completed his maiden ODI fifty and yet again showed how capable with the bat he is.
The Lankan fans started leaving the stadium and the Indian fans, as has been the case throughout this series were overjoyed. Indian fans were now expecting a Dhoni finish but however were disappointed as Fernando bowled yet another wide – not sure whether it was a mistake or intentional- as was done by a Lankan bowler when Sehwag was about to score a century. Whatever may be the case ultimately it was the Indians who had the last smile.
However, this match also raised some questions about the middle order of team. India has faced quite a few such collapses in the recent past, so India need to address this issue of concern as soon as possible. Apart from the heroics of Bhuvi this match will
also be remembered as it witnessed Dhoni’s 100th stumping which itself is a world record. Dhananjay deservingly became the Man of the Match. India now are all set to seal the series in the third match itself with a 2-0 lead in the five match series. Overall it was certainly the best match of this tour yet.