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Fascinating series came to an end

August 13, 2008

       I didn’t expect this series to be a hard-fought one and Srilanka will win this one as I thought Indian team is far better than the Srilanka but Mendis stormed into the picture from nowhere and clinched the series for his team. Hats off Mr.Mendis.

 

 

           Each of the test has been finished in 4 days but except for first one other’s provided a riveting test match cricket of high standards. With the first test been surrendered by the Indians(thanks to some magical spin by the duo Mendis and Murali), I just expected the same in following tests, but Sehwag has other ideas and won the 2nd test for India. His monumental 201* had put Indians back on track and inspired the bowlers who put up a splendid show to wrap up the test in 4 days. In third test, though Indians put up a good fight on their second innings its too late as Srilankans got a substantial lead of 147 runs and with bowlers of Mendis and Murali in their ranks with the pitch offering turn its a mission near impossible to stage a comeback. Added to this, injuries to Sachin, Laxman and Ishant done more damage to the Indian side.

First Test:

Indian bowlers on leather hunt, Sri lankan spin duo on wicket hunt

       

             As this test started, it one turned to be a nightmare for the Indians as the Srilankan batsmen piled up the runs at their will(Warnapura, Jayawardane, Samaraweera, Dilshan scored centuries) and Indian batsmen can’t escape from the magical web formed by Mendis and Murali.

             They tormented the Indians by scalping 19 of the 20 wickets between them. No Indian batsmen able to read the Srilankan spinners and India defeated by an Innings and 239 runs. Murali got an 10-Wicket haul(11 wickets) and walked away wih man of the match award.

Second Test:

Sehwag stands tall, Srilankan batsmen fumbled

   

             This one provided a riveting contest between bat and ball as the Indian openers raced away with a rousing start in first innings but after gambhir fell for his well made 56, Mendis magic has done the Indians. Sehwag stood tall and carried his bat through the innings with a match-winning 201* as India bowled out for 329. As Srilankans started their innings out-of-form Vandort gone early but Sangakkara and Warnapura scored runs at a brisk pace shared a 100-plus partnership between them. But Harbhajan broken this partnership and put some brakes to Srilankan runrate. Then Mahela played a gem of an innings of 86 but as the wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end they fell short of 37 runs compared to Indian total. Harbhajan scalped 6 wickets.

 

 

             Indian openers started the second innings in the same fashion as they did in Ist innings, but Sehwag fell after a well made 50, then Dravid and Tendulkar joined with Gambhir and scored runs to end the day 3 with a score of 200/4. Gambhir played a solid innings of 74 before being castled by a magical Mendis delivery which turned from leg stump to clip the top of off stump. On day 4 , Muralidharan and his counterpart cleaned up the Indian wickets as India finished with 269 which means the target for Lankans were 307. But in Srilanka’s 2nd innings their batsmen were troubled by some incisive opening spells by Ishant and Zaheer who bowled their heart-out, he Srilankan batsmen have no clue against their pace, swing and bounce and they reduced to 10/3. With Mahela and Sangakkara both back in pavilion its an herculean task for the inexperienced batting line-up to overhaul a score of 300. Though Samaraweera and Dilshan fought back, Ishant who bowled a probing line made dilshan to nick one to keeper that signalled the Srilankan defeat to come. Harbhajan and Kumble joined to clean up the tail-enders and India won by 170 runs. Harbhajan finished with a 10-Wicket haul.

         Sehwag walked away with man of the match award for his 251 runs.

Third Test:

Sangakkara and Srilankan bowlers does the job to clinch the series

                    

          Expectations were running high for this one as both teams won a test and want to clinch the series. D-day came and both the teams made one change with Dinesh Karthik being replaced by Parthiv patel for India and Kulasekara made way for Dammika Prasad who made his debut.

             India won the toss and elected to bat first and their openers gave a electrifying start only to cut short by Dammika Prasad who made Sehwag to nick a delivery that held its line. Thereafter the disaster came with both Dravid and Sachin were LBW ed in same fashion by Prasad. Truly a dream debut for him scalping three of the Indian top order batsmen. Then Gambhir and Ganguly tried to resurrect the Indian innings but Murali broke the partnership by foxing Ganguly with a quickish off break. Then came the Mendis magic who picked the next 4 wickets, India was tottering at 198/9 and last wicket stand of 51 helped India to get a reasonable total of 249. Thanks to Ishant and Zaheer. During the Srilankan Ist innings Ishant removed Warnapura early and Vandort continued his poor form. It was Sangakkara who had a quiet series held the Srilankan innings together. He partnered with the night watchman Vaas and scored runs with consumate ease but once Vaas and Mahela fell in a quick interval he hung around there and with Samaraweere and Dilshan alongside he found able company and overhauled the Indian score. Then in third day morning he and Prasanna Jayawardene extended the lead and Sangakkara out for a magnificient 144. Srilankan lower order batsmen too piled up runs and Srilanka extended the lead to about 147 runs.

          In 2nd innings, Indian openers started off brightly but both Sehwag and Gambhir got out for playing needless adventurous shots. Both wickets were scalped by Prasad. Ganguly joined with Dravid and both played cautiously, as the partnership was progressed Ganguly was foxed by Murali. Both Sachin and Parthiv fell cheaply, its left to Dravid and Laxman to produce a another miracle and they ended the day 3 without further damages. In the day 4 morning both played sensibly, Dravid completed his fifty, his first of the series. But soon Dravid fell once again to Mendis who was bowling around the stumps, made Dravid to nick a leg spinner and Jayawardene completed the dismissal with a good low catch. Laxman battled lonely against Srilankan spinners only to score a unconquered 50, India all out for 269, a lead of 121, but thats not enough to challenge the Srilankan batting line-up. Srilanka, in their 2nd innings lost Vandort and Sangakkara early but Mahela and Warnapura made sure that thereis no further hiccups in chasing this small total.

  

          Sangakkara was man of the match for his wonderful 144 in Ist innings and Ajantha Mendis who made the Indian batsmen dancing with his carrom balls, googlies, off breaks and leg cutters was Man of the Series for his 26 wickets.

 

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 13, 2008 5:18 pm

    Welcome to the blogging world Mr Kanags and good write up of the just concluded cricket series, very well summarized and the pics were good too!!

    Keep the posts coming!!!!

    kanagu: On 12th Dec, Rajesh, Now I have known the value of the comments for our posts. When you first said about I never took it seriously.. thank you 🙂

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