The Midas touch of Yuvraj and Dhoni worked wonders for the side as India glided to a well-deserved 2-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in the 8th ODI of CB Series at Adelaide on Tuesday, February 19, 2008. The dynamic duo of India came together to stage a winning act they were once considered quite adept at, as Yuvraj regained his form just in time to keep India afloat in the series. Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka won the toss but got off to a jittery start after deciding to bat. Patel struck in the first over itself to claim the wicket of Dilshan who misread the swing and edged one off to Dhoni behind the wicket.
Soon, he claimed another victim with an outstanding run-out effort, which sent Jayasuriya packing for a duck. Sri Lankans sensed the danger and acted all-too wisely as Sangakkara and Jayawardene soon got in sync to develop a crucial 153-run partnership, which steered Sri Lanka to a comfortable position. It was, however, Sangakkara, who instilled life in a flailing Sri Lankan innings almost single-handedly with an unusual century effort, which came under extreme pressure. Jayawardene also came up with a gritty 71-run knock to further Sri Lankan cause before Kumar earned India an important breakthrough by running him out. Kapugedera added to the Sri Lankan misery by succumbing to another run-out effort from Rohit Sharma in the next over itself, which speaks volumes about the agility and fielding acumen of Indian players in the field. In the meantime, Sangakkara kept on going at his own pace even as more than a few of his teammates were tangled up in a string of run-outs at the other end. As the Sri Lankan scorecard read 161 for 4 wickets, Silva pitched in with a 21-run cameo as part of another excellent 73-run stand with Sangakkara brought a wavering Sri Lankan innings back on the track. Pathan and Harbhajan tasted success with their swing and movement at fag end of the innings as they claimed the prized wickets of this duo. Sri Lanka ended up with a defendable score of 238 runs for 6 wickets in the allotted 50 overs. India was off to a worse start with the top three wickets being swiped away for a mere 35 runs. Little Maestro was the first one to depart, all credits to a brilliantly deceptive piece of bowling from Malinga. Gambhir and Uthappa came up with an all-too insufficient 31-run partnership before Amerasinghe had his way with Gambhir.
Jayasuriya pushed India to the brink of disaster with an athletic run-out effort to send Uthappa back to the pavilion. Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh brought in a semblance of stability in the Indian innings with an intelligently carved 64-run stand. With Indian scorecard nearly touching the 100-run mark, Muralitharan scooped up the wicket of Gambhir with a special one. >From here on, the crowds were treated to a cricketing symphony of its own kind from Dhoni and Yuvraj with the ball playing to the tune of their melodious willows. But it was Vaas who caused Yuvraj to come up with the singular discordant note required by Sri Lankans to find their way back in the game. Pathan pitched in with a timely 31-run cameo in a 58-run partnership, which nearly saw India home with Dhoni chiselling out a cautious innings at the other end. India was faced with last-minute jitters with the departure of Pathan, Kumar and Harbhajan before Dhoni sealed the match with a confident stroke for 2 runs with 5 balls to spare in the innings, which also completed a hard-toiled for half-century for the skipper. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, had to take solace with Sangakkara being selected as Man of the Match for his outstanding century effort in the face of immense pressure. Despite winning the game by 2 wickets at the end of the day, India had a few lessons to learn, especially that of not taking things for granted at any stage of the game which might better serve the Indian cause in the longer run.
Last Updated on 24 August 2012