Dec 12, 2009

2nd T20I: India beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets, level series

Birthday boy Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag helped India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets to level the series 1-1 in the second and final Twenty20 International in Mohali on Saturday.

After Sehwag (64 off 36 balls) gave a brilliant start to the run-chase, it was Yuvraj Sinhg (60*) who guided India to a comfortable victory.

Sehwag hit a brliant half century to give India a good start early in the innings, whereas his opening partner Gautam Gambhir was run out after sharing 58 runs partnership with his Delhi mate.

After the departure of the openers, Dhoni and Yuvraj continued the momentum and put India in comfortable position.

Earlier, India again put up an extremely sloppy fielding display to allow Sri Lanka to score a mammoth 206 for seven.

The in-form Kumar Sangakkara again tormented the hosts with a 31-ball 59 to provide the impetus to the Lankan innings as the Indians dropped as many as five catches to again give a pathetic account of their fielding abilities.

Sanath Jayasuriya (31), Chintaka Jayasinghe (38) and Angelo Mathews (26 not out) were the other notable performers for the visitors who are leading the two-match series 1-0.

The Indians will now have to score at a stiff asking rate of 10.30 to harbour hopes of levelling the series on a good batting track at the PCA stadium.

If the Indians dropped five catches in the first game in Nagpur, there seemed to be no significant improvement as they continued to spill catches much to the embarrassment of new fielding consultant Mike Young.

Electing to bat, the Lankans lost the dangerous Tillakaratne Dilshan (1) early with Ishant Sharma producing a gem of a delivery to knock down his leg stump much to the delight of a capacity crowd at the PCA stadium.

But the seasoned pair of Jayasuriya and Sangakkara were undeterred by the early blow as they launched a savage assault on the Indian bowlers who compounded their misery by bowling a poor line and length on a track where the ball came on the bat nicely.

Jayasuriya was particularly severe on Ashish Nehra as he clobbered him for three fours and a six in his second over. Nehra was never allowed to settle into any rhythm as both the Lankan batsmen attacked him from the very beginning.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni kept rotating his bowlers to contain the run flow but to no avail as both left handed duo kept the tempo going with a barrage of strokes.

They brought about the 50-run partnership in just 21 balls and the introduction of the slower balls hardly had any impact on the scoring rate.

Sangakkara, who was at his devastating best in the first game in Nagpur with a quickfire 37-ball 78, was lucky to get a reprieve when on 28 with Ravindra Jadeja dropping him on the fence with Yusuf Pathan being the unlucky bowler.

Pathan, however, had something to cheer about a couple of overs later when he had the dangerman Jayasuriya (31) trapped in front of the wicket. Jayasuriya's knock contained five boundaries.

Chinthaka Jayasinghe joined the action after Jayasuriya's departure and immediately got into the scoring act with a few crispy shot while his captain kept up the pace at the other end.

Sangakkara completed his half-century off just 29 balls but could not survive long after achieving the milestone, with birthday boy Yuvraj Singh accounting for his dismissal.

It was then left to Jayasinghe and Chamara Kapugedera to take the visitors to a respectable total and the duo posted the 150 of the innings in 13.5 overs.

But Kapugedera perished soon after offering a simple catch to Karthik in the long off region off Yuvraj as the Lankans were pegged back a little bit with two quick wickets.

Jayasinghe enjoyed a charmed life in the middle with two catches being dropped with Pathan bring the unlucky bowler on both the occasions. While Nehra first dropped him on 30, Gambhir spilled a chance when he was on 34.

However, he perished in the very next over off Yuvraj Singh with Jadeja making no mistake in the square leg boundary. His 28 ball 38 was studded with three boundaries and a six.

The Lankan captain went for a mighty heave but could not connect the ball properly and Nehra latched to a well-judged catch in the deep.

Sangakkara's entertaining 31-ball 59 was laced with eight boundaries and two sixes.

The veteran Mahela Jayawardene could not survive for long as he mistimed Ishant and ballooned a simple catch to debutant Sudeep Tyagi at the long off region, reducing the islanders to 141 for four in 12.5 overs.

Kaushalya Weeraratne, who came into the team in place of Pushpakara, was run out for three as the visitors were reduced to 167 for seven by the 17th over.

news By TOI

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