India defeated Sri Lanka by four wickets with 20 balls in what was an exciting finish to the Second Match of the CB Series at the WACA Ground in Perth. What looked like an easy chase was turned into a nervous one after a few Indian batsmen committed suicide! It was left to the pair of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin to come up with a superb unbeaten partnership to take India home. R Ashwin, who remained unbeaten with 30 from 38 balls which followed a lovely bowling performance of 3 for 32 in 10 overs early on in the afternoon got the Man of the Match.
Highlights of India Innings : Needing 234 to win from 50 overs, India lost an early wicket in the form of Virender Sehwag (10) in the 3rd over when the dashing opener upper cut a rising delivery from Lasith Malinga into the hands of thirdman. Like the Lankan innings, India had a solid second wicket stand, and the pair of Tendulkar and Kohli steadied things. In the 19th over, Sachin Tendulkar (48 from 63 balls with 5 fours) looked to steer one that was very close to his body on the backfoot to thirdman to chop it onto the stumps off Angelo Mathews. But for that nothing shot, Tendulkar did a fine job putting up 75 runs for the 2nd wicket with Kohli.
There was another good partnership coming up for India revolving around Kohli until Rohit Sharma played a rash square cut which was brilliantly caught by a diving Dilshan at backward point. Rohit Sharma scored 10 before falling to a bad delivery from Thisara Perera in the 26th over. The next man in - Suresh Raina, added 33 runs with Kohli before he threw his wicket away attempting a needless slog pull off a slower short ball from Mathews to get caught in the deep. Raina was looking good with his 24 from 27 balls before he went for a hoick.
In the 34th over, India slipped into a mess at 167 for 5 when Skipper MS Dhoni (4) top edged a pull shot right across the line off Dhammika Prasad to get caught at mid on. Virat Kohli who was struggling with cramps in his hamstring by now was still doing a great job for India. He even lofted a straight six off Dhammika Prasad straight down the ground in the 36th over but in the next ball went for a non-existent run towards mid on and got himself run out! Kohli scored a brilliant 77 from 94 balls with 8 fours and a six. When he left, the match was loaded in favour of Sri Lanka with India still needing 53 more runs with just the 4 wickets in hand.
In the final phase of the match, Sri Lanka were defied by a sensible partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin. Most of the runs came in singles as the pair kept their cool and hardly took any chances. The match was over in the 47th over with R Ashwin collecting 30* from 38 balls (with 3 fours) and Ravindra Jadeja contributing 24* from 28 balls (with 3 fours). For the Lankans, Angelo Mathews bowled tidily for his 2 for 31 in 9.4 overs.
Related Article :India restrict Sri Lanka to 233 in Perth ODI : CB Series 2012