Gambhir\'s century and crucial knocks from Raina and Irfan help India take a 2-1 lead in Colombo.
50th over: India 288 for 5 India win the match by five wickets and take a 2-1 series lead. The match goes into the final over and Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan finish the job with two deliveries to spare. No boundaries in two overs but some smart running did the job before Irfan swings the fourth ball of the over over square leg for four. Superb chase from this pair. It wasn’t easy, especially after Lasith Malinga removed MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma in consecutive balls, and then when Gautam Gambhir was run out for 102. But Raina and Irfan have done superbly, adding 92 runs in 67 balls. India’s dressing room applauds their efforts.
48th over: India 275 for 5
No boundaries but nine runs in that over. Good stuff from Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan. That leaves India to get 12 from 12 balls. Raina looking to go inside-out over the off side and twice does so; each time the ball lands safely and is cut off by a fielder.
47th over: India 266 for 5
Suresh Raina gets to his fifty with a six over long-on off Lasith Malinga. It took just 35 balls. He’s playing really well. Irfan Pathan is also hitting the ball sweetly. India have scored 43 off the last four overs. Lasith Malinga has an over left. India need 21 from 18 balls.
45th over: India 245 for 5
Four fours in two overs and India are not letting this match go. Suresh Raina has hit three, Irfan one. Partnership is worth 49.
43rd over: India 223 for 5
Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan have added 27 to keep Sri Lanka at bay, but India need at least a four an over. Raina is given a life in the over by the fielder at extra-cover, who drops a fairly straightforward catch. That would have really hurt India. This pair is doing well with the singles. Both are capable of hitting a long ball, which is something Mahela Jayawardene will have on his mind. Lasith Malinga has three overs to go, Herath one, and Thisara Perera two. India need to see off Malinga, target Herath.
39th over: India 200 for 5
It’s a funny game, cricket. Gautam Gambhir hasn’t done much wrong in his fluent innings, especially between the wickets, but he has been run out for 102. India are really looking down the barrel now. He works the ball to towards mid-on and sets off, but Isuru Udana swoops in and collects the ball and in a smooth release lets it out and hits the stumps with Gambhir just short. Biggest wicket so far for Sri Lanka. From the dressing room, Kumar Sangakkara pumps a fist. Obviously its not his right fist, because he can’t make a fist with that had considering he’s got a fractured finger. Irfan Pathan is the new man in. Suresh Raina ends the over with a boundary.
Gautam Gambhir run out 102 (101 balls)
37th over: India 191 for 4
Century No. 11 for Gautam Gambhir. Gets there with a cut to deep backward point for one, raises the bat. Its been a very fine innings; well paced and full of intent. A lesson in ODI batting. But India still need a lot of runs. Gambhir has to stay there till the end.
36th over: India 180 for 4
This match isn’t over yet, says Lasith Malinga. Two wickets in two balls and India are jolted. Malinga – who hasn’t bowled a batsman in 10 matches – comes back into the attack and bowls MS Dhoni immediately. First ball of the batting Powerplay and Malinga slings down a yorker that bowls Dhoni. In walks Rohit Sharma, and he returns one ball later. Superb full and swinging ball from Malinga on the stumps, Rohit misses it and gets hit in front of the stucks. Golden duck for a man on fire. That ball was headed for leg stump. Suresh Raina averts the hat-trick ball to get off the mark, but Sri Lanka are right back in this.
MS Dhoni b Lasith Malinga 30 (48 balls)
Rohit Sharma lbw b Lasith Malinga 0 (1 ball)
34th over: India 174 for 2
The second new ball will be taken. Gautam Gambhir hasn’t look ruffled at all. India haven’t managed any boundaries for a while but the asking rate is in control. Smart running, smart judgement. That’s been the key for Gambhir and MS Dhoni, whose decision to promote himself to No. 4 has so far worked well for India. This stand is worth 61 so far.
30th over: India 158 for 2
Good over for India. Gautam Gambhir chops Jeevan Mendis past short third man for four. He’s been busy all innings, running hard and scoring at over a run a ball. Looks in good form. Lovely player of spin, is Gambhir. Meanwhile, MS Dhoni is doing his job: supporting Gambhir with good strike rotation. A good partnership being formed as India cross 150 with relative ease.
25th over: India 134 for 2
At the half-way mark, India are 134. Gautam Gambhir still holding up one end very well, on 72. MS Dhoni has been sharp with his running. Sri Lanka need to make inroads soon if they want to stall India's chase.
21st over: India 114 for 2 Virat Kohli is gone, ending a stand of 105. Big setback for India. Rangana Herath is the wicket-taker, forcing Kohli to punch back a catch that he gobbles up himself. That’s a wicket out of nowhere. Kohli gone for 38. And instead of Rohit Sharma, out strides MS Dhoni at No. 4.
Virat Kohli c & b Rangana Herath 38 (65 balls)
17th over: India 97 for 1
Half-century for Gautam Gambhir, off 43 deliveries. His 17th in ODIs and second in two innings. He’s been the dominating hand in this partnership, not unexpectedly. Lovely player of spin – perhaps the best in this team – and he’s showcased that tonight. Over the past three years, Gambhir and Virat Kohli have been India’s most successful partnership in successful ODI chases – scoring over 1500 runs at an average of nearly 100. That is an outstanding record. They have five century-plus stands in 14 innings together.
15th over: India 86 for 1
Gautam Gambhir is looking good, really good. Scoring at over a run a ball, using his feet well, crisply cutting and driving. He’s a treat to watch when on top of his game. This stand has so far been worth 78 runs. Remember, Gambhir and Virat Kohli have an excellent record when batting together in chases.
12th over: India 71 for 1
Things have slowed down but Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli look to be in control. Boundaries have dried up but the running between the wickets remains positive. Solid alliance being formed.
9th over: India 55 for 1
Nine runs from the previous over, and seven from this one. The eighth over started with Gautam Gambhir lofting Thisara Perer for four over extra cover and contained three singles and a two. The ninth over saw Virat Kohli play the shot of the innings s0 far – a lovely drive past mid-on off Isuru Udana that raised India’s fifty. Gambhir and Kohli are also running hard. Plenty of work ahead but this is a good start from India.
5th over: India 28 for 1
Gautam Gambhir has played some spanking shots, speeding to 19 off 17 balls with the help of four boundaries. As expected, Virat Kohli looks to stick it out. He did play one pull to Lasith Malinga but it found the man at midwicket. Otherwise Kohli has looked to defend and pick up singles. The last ball of the over is speared into Gambhir’s pads and he clips it fine for a couple runs.
2nd over: India 8 for 1
Virender Sehwag goes early. Not much in that delivery, just back of a length but Sehwag stands up and slaps it straight to the substitute fielder at short cover. How often have we seen that from Sehwag in ODIs? Thisara Perera gets the wicket in his first over.
Virender Sehwag c Sachithra Senanayake b Lasith Malinga 3 (6 balls)
50th over: Sri Lanka 286 for 5
Angelo Mathews and Jeevan Mendis get Sri Lanka to 286. Ninety-seven runs scored in the last ten overs, 50 in the last five. One boundary per over in the 47th, 48th and 49th overs, and in the last one Mathews swings Ashok Dinda for a big six as India concede 16 from it. Mathews finishes on 71 off 57 balls, Mendis on 45 from 40. They added 104 in 12 overs - Sri Lanka’s highest sixth-wicket stand versus India. A good total, but not necessarily a winning one. If India’s batsmen click, it could prove insufficient for Sri Lanka. Historically it’s not been easy chasing at the Premadasa, so let’s see what happens. Sri Lanka will back themselves. Come back and join us in about 40 minutes for India’s reply.
47th over: Sri Lanka 254 for 5
Angelo Mathews plays a lovely cover drive for four that beats the sweeper. Full ball from Ashok Dinda, not much pace, and Mathews smokes the drive. Next ball he gets to his fifty from 48 balls. This is a productive stand, if not a particularly explosive one. Smart batting, smarter running. Mathews and Jeevan Mendis have picked the gaps very well and harried between the wickets. Runs have come quickly but Sri Lanka need to really tee off soon.
44th over: Sri Lanka 223 for 5
Plenty of drama in the over. Angelo Mathews edges Irfan Pathan to MS Dhoni, who takes a simple catch and starts to celebrate before everyone realizes the umpire has spotted the over-step and called no-ball. Mathews doesn’t get anything for the free hit, drilling a full ball hard to Zaheer Khan at extra cover. With six overs in hand, Sri Lanka will hope Mathews and Jeevan Mendis can finish strongly.
40th over: Sri Lanka 189 for 5
Sri Lanka manage just 24 runs from the batting Powerplay, with two boundaries and the loss of Kumar Sangakkara. That’s a period where India may just have pulled back the match.
38th over: Sri Lanka 182 for 5
Ashok Dinda takes out Kumar Sangakkara, who won’t be pleased with that shot. He’s just tried to hit Dinda the last two balls and failed to connect, so this time goes back in his crease. Didn’t work out though. Dinda bowls a slower, fuller ball just outside off stump which Sangakkara backs away to and squeezes straight to Virat Kohli at point. One of the easiest catches Kohli will take on a cricket field.
Kumar Sangakkara c Virat Kohli b Ashok Dinda 73 (95 balls)
36th over: Sri Lanka 172 for4
The batting Powerplay has been taken and Kumar Sangakkara is purring along. This looks a very good batting track. Sangakkara thumps Ashok Dinda back over his head for four, then steers a single to short third man. Seven runs from the over. Sri Lanka should be aiming at 270 from here.
30th over: Sri Lanka 141 for 4
Well, a breakthrough at last for India. A big wicket too, that of Mahela Jayawardene who had started to open up with some lovely sweeps and paddles. He goes lbw for 65 to Rahul Sharma, a decision given by umpire Kumar Dharmasena. Jayawardene was on the back foot attempting to work the ball away but it hurried on and hit him in front of leg stump. Jayawardene didn’t look too pleased. Perhaps the ball was slipping past leg stump? Earlier in the over, Kumar Sangakkara got to his half-century, off 67 balls. It’s his 73rd in ODIs and 16th against India – he has now scored four consecutive fifties against India. He and Jayawardene were looking very, very good. There’s been no real sense of urgency but if a big platform can be laid, we could be in for a strong finish from Sri Lanka.
Mahela Jayawardene lbw b Rahul Sharma 65 (79 balls)
25th over: Sri Lanka 114 for 3
Fifty for Mahela Jayawardene, his 68th in ODIs. Gets there with a couple out to deep midwicket off R Ashwin; just dabs it off the stumps and runs hard. His 17th fifty against India. Strong stuff from the Sri Lankan captain after a sluggish start. He’s looking comfortable, his feet moving well against spin. India are employing the slow stuff from both ends in the form of Ashwin and Rahul Sharma. Nothing too extravagant from Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara though. Just happy to knock the ball into the gaps for singles. Jayawardene did play one airy drive over mid-off for one, though, as well as a premeditated sweep. Other than that, nothing too fancy.
20th over: Sri Lanka 92 for 3
Mahela Jayawardene has outscored Kumar Sangakkara, after at one stage being 1 off 11 balls to Sangakkara’s 9 off 13. Looks to be in good form, cracking Zaheer Khan for four past cover in the over. It’s his fourth boundary – Sangakkara has three - but the running between the wickets has assumed a more determined outlook. MS Dhoni has used Zaheer in two spells – 5-0-16-2 and 4-0-13-0 so far – and Rahul Sharma for just one over. No sign of R Ashwin yet.
17th over: Sri Lanka 72 for 3
Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene continue to build. India still on top, but not by much. This partnership has reached 52. Ashok Dinda bowls a tidy 17th over – just one run.
13th over: Sri Lanka 58 for 3
Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka’s most experienced duo, are beginning to lay a recovery. Irfan Pathan’s last two overs have cost 21, and the Sri Lankan pair are moving along steadily. Nothing too flashy. Sangakkara is the more positive of the two, putting away the poor stuff while Jayawardene is clearly playing himself in for the sheet anchor’s role. They have added 38 so far. India can’t let this partnership assume a firmer hold on proceedings.
10th over: Sri Lanka 40 for 3
The most expensive over of the innings – 13 runs. Kumar Sangakkara cuts a wide ball from Irfan Pathan for four. Irfan then appeals for lbw against Mahela Jayawardene but no reaction from the umpire. Huge appeal from MS Dhoni too. Looked very close, hit MJ on the back leg. He rubs it in with a pick-up flick over square leg for four. Overall, Irfan and Zaheer Khan have been impressive, getting the ball to swing sharply. Plenty of play and misses, some inside edges. There have been 42 dots out of 60 legal deliveries bowled so far.
6th over: Sri Lanka 20 for 3
And now its Irfan Pathan’s turn to join the fun. Gets a wicket with the third ball of the sixth over, as Dinesh Chandimal is given lbw for a duck. He was stuck on the crease to a ball that pitched on about middle and leg and then straightened, the ball rapped him on the back leg and the umpire had no hesitation in raising the finger. Sri Lanka in a spot of bother after opting to bat.
Dinesh Chandimal lbw b Irfan Pathan 0 (3 balls)
5th over: Sri Lanka 19 for 2
Upul Tharanga has had a few nervous moments, particularly against Zaheer Khan’s exaggerated but often wayward movement off the surface, and after plenty of airy-fairy shots outside off stump he is gone. An unnecessary shot, you’d have to say. Just after he crashed a wide ball through cover-point for four, Tharanga chases a ball he could have easily left alone – it was that wide – and edges it to a diving MS Dhoni behind the stumps. Zaheer is pumped up. There’s movement and bounce out on the surface. Zaheer ends the over with a very optimistic lbw shout against the new man Dinesh Chandimal.
Upul Tharanga c MS Dhoni b Zaheer Khan 8 (20 balls)
3rd over: Sri Lanka 9 for 1
After two tidy overs, Zaheer Khan delivers India the first breakthrough in rather tame scenes. Tillakaratne Dilshan comes forward to a leg-cutter and defends it with ease, but then loses site of the ball after it drops at his feet, bounces and then rolls onto the stumps. Dilshan was instead looking to pinch a single, but then looks back to see the ball bounce in front of the stumps and then hit them. A bail falls off and Dilshan has been bowled. He didn’t seem to even notice where the ball went after he defended it. Zaheer too seems amused.
Tillakaratne Dilshan b Zaheer Khan 4 (7 balls)
Colombo: Sri Lanka have decided to bat first after winning the toss at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Sri Lankan team has gone with the same line-up whereas India have a couple of changes in the form of Rahul Sharma and Ashok Dinda.
Sri Lanka: 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 6 Jeevan Mendis, 7 Angelo Mathews, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Isuru Udana, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Rangana Herath
India: 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Irfan Pathan, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Ashok Dinda, 11 Rahul Sharma