The Lankan Lions bulldozed India by 51 runs besides dropping few catches in the important encounter of the Commonwealth Bank Series.
Sri Lanka scored challenging 289 runs for the loss of six wickets in the allocated 50 overs and India was bowled out for 238 in 45.1 overs.
Nuwan Kulasekara was declared ‘Player of the match ’after he got rid of three batsmen at the important juncture and held two difficult catches.
Virender Sehwag was the stand in Captain for India due to suspension of one match for MS Dhoni, he faced because of the slow over rate in the previous match.
The match was played at Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, (neutral venue) on 21 February 2012.
Earlier, Sri Lankan Captain, Mahela Jayawardene, won the toss, opened the innings with Tillakaratne Dilshan and the experienced duo had a thoughtful start while collecting 22 runs in the first five overs. Dilshan opened up in the 6th over by dispatching a six and four as Jayawardene also utilized all scoring opportunities.
India got the first success when Jayawardene was gone for 45 but not before laying a solid foundation of 95 runs in 18.4 overs. Dilshan achieved his 26th fifty on the last ball of the 20th over but lost his wicket in the 22nd over for 51 off 72 balls with one six and 5 fours.
The ever reliable, young Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne got together and stabilized the innings while sharing 71 runs partnership for the fourth wicket. Chandimal was bowled by a full length Yorker from Irfan Pathan for 38 as Thirimanne ensured his fifty on the first ball of the 44th over.
The all-rounder, Angelo Mathew demonstrated a positive attitude in the dying overs as Thirimanne became the fifth batsman to lose his wicket for 62 runs. Mathew remained unbeaten for 49 off 37 balls with one six and 4 fours as the Islanders piled up 289 in 50 overs with four wickets still in hand.
Irfan and Ravichandran Ashwin were the supreme bowlers with two wickets each as Umesh Yadav and Suresh Raina claimed one wicket each.
The Blue shirts had a dreadful start when their prominent opener, Sehwag was caught smartly by Nuwan Kulasekara at deep third man off Lasith Malinga on the second ball for a duck. The little master Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir, kept the score board moving with odd boundaries every now and then.
The clouds of uncertainty hanged over Tendulkar consistently when he played a ball on to his wickets and was gone for 22 runs off Kulasekara. The second wicket was lost at 38 runs and 16 runs later Gambhir also went back to the pavilion for 29 runs when Thisara Perera caught him in the gully region off Kulasekara.
India was struggling at 54 for three wickets when the two young guns Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina put their heads down and enhanced the innings. The Lankan Lions have been fielding well until then as they came up with a dismal catching performance thrice in quick succession.
Raina was dropped on four by Dilshan, Kohli had a life for 14 at deep mid wicket by Chandimal and he survived again at 32 by Chandimal again at the same position.
The chances were capitalized by the batsmen and they added valuable 92 runs partnership for the fourth wicket as Kohli added another fifty to his credit in the 30th over. Raina’s wicket was finally taken by Farveez Maharoof on 32 runs and Kohli also departed for 66 and the Blue shirts were struggling at 172 after losing five wickets in 35.3 overs.
Irfan Pathan played gem of an innings down in the order and smashed 47 runs off 34 balls which comprised seven well timed fours as the whole team was bowled out for 238 runs with 29 balls to spare.
Perera was the star performer while grabbing four wickets, Kulasekara held three, Malinga captured two and Maharoof chipped in with one wicket.
Sri Lanka won the match authoritatively with a good margin of 51 runs with their sheer team work.
Austarlia is heading the table with 14 points from five games, the Islanders follow with 11 from even matches and India is at the bottom with 10 from six matches.
Indian Cricket team is a bunch of irresponsible baboons. You can’t expect consistent performance from them. I should not have wasted my sleep over them.