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Indian skipper M S Dhoni’s comment that the poor pitch at Hambantota led to their massive loss in the second ODI was rather surprising to say the least.

Three overs – that was exactly the duration for which India dominated the second ODI against Sri Lanka at Hambantota. Their performance was in stark contrast to the first one-dayer that was played on Saturday.

Sri Lanka completed an easy 9-wicket win to level the ODI Series 1-1 before leaving to Colombo. India couldn’t put up any sort of fight with the ball as the Lankans eased to the target of 139 in just 19.5 overs without playing any real big shots.

In the end, the margin of victory for India at Hambantota wasn’t as significant as expected. Twenty one runs it was. And the key reason why India managed to get home easily in spite of a late surge by the big-hitting left-hander Thisara Perera was the magnificent knock played by Virat Kohli.

India tour of Sri Lanka 2012, 2nd ODI: Sri Lanka Vs India at Hambantota, Jul 24, 2012. Match scheduled to begin at 14:30 local time (09:00 GMT, 02:30 PM IST, 02:00 PM IST).

It was almost as if Friday’s game was being replayed all over again, only the scorecards of the teams were exchanged. While Lanka batted first and successfully defended a low score in the first ODI at Hambantota, Pakistan reversed the procedure at the same venue on Sunday.

Sri Lanka lost to Pakistan by 23 runs in the 2nd T20I at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa, Hambantota