The crucial decider between men in blues and lions for reserving their final berth in Commonwealth Bank Series held at Hobart. The day match encounter was filled with joy, thrill and disappointments in both sessions. Indians cruised to final with convincing seven wicket victory over Lankans. After winning the toss, skipper Dhoni opted to field first. Inclusion of Praveen kumar at the expense of opener shewag has given a rich dividend. Lankans lost their opener Perera for 8 runs by Indian heart-rob Ishant, the in swinging delivery dislodged his furniture. Amid the Indians exhilaration Sangakkara gave a rock solid start with splendid fours in Munaf over. The old war horse Sanath Jayasuriya on the other end proved his experience with a himalayan sixer of Ishant sharma.
The terrific duo played aggressively with raining fours. At end of 10 overs, 55/1 seems that wounded lions up came up with a ploy to Score 300 plus runs on the board. Skipper Dhoni brought in Praveen kumar to replace Munaf that paid the result. The ambitious shot from Sangakarra ended in vein skipper took splendid diving catch to send him back to pavilion. Kumar took his first wicket in One day Internationals. The trouble started for Srilankans henceforth. In the subsequent over of Kumar, Jayewardene was caught on point by Rohit sharma for mere 3 runs. Thereafter, Indians on song. Left arm pacer Pathan took the important wicket of Sanath with a clever quick bouncer which was attempted to hit at square and caught by Dhoni. Charma Silva looked composed but edged to Kumar and was sent for duck. Dilshan and Vaas were dismissed in quick succession. Lankans were reeling for 93/7 at 26th over.
Kapugedera took his time to settle and played sensibly. He is poised and judged the situation well and quick running between the wickets and punishing bad deliveries to boundaries was the only solace for srilankans. Partnership with Lastih Malinga added another 40 runs to the total when Malinga attempted to hit across the boundary line on Ishanth well caught by Uthappa. Spin legend Muthaih joined with Kapugedera and played well. This partnership added another 40 runs before Muthaih bowled out by Kumar once again. Praveen kumar took carrier best 4/31. Finally Harbajan has taken wicket of Kapugedera (57 Runs, Highest ODI score) that ended Srilankans innings for 179.The match took a whirlwind turn between score of 71 and 93. Srilankans could not sustain the Indian young guns bowling attack. It was surprising that experienced Harbajan was not given enough overs at the end to cut the Lankan tail. Indians played well despite a poor start; lack of killer instinct was obvious when they failed to chop the tail.
Indians started their innings opening Uthappa with Sachin. Uthappa lose his wicket for 11 runs.Sachin-Gambir duo played a wonderful knock. Sachin scored first 50 of this series with 10 fours and dismissed for 63. Gambir on other end rocked till the end. Yuvraj belligerent stroke and intense shot gives visual treat before he fell for 36. Gautam Gambhir taken India home with unbeaten 63 and India won by 7 Wickets. Praveen kumar judged man of match for his magic spell for demolishing Lankan hopes. The Friday game against Ausies for Lankan is a dead-rubber.
It is high time for Indians to introspect and find how to win the series against strong Aussies. Indians have to bat well in the finals (best of three) and come with colors to avoid series loss against mighty Aussies after the test series loss.
Sachin discovered his form, wayward Yuvraj playing his best; Gambir is in his good knick. Indians need to keep the tempo for rest of the series to win against Aussies to clinch the series in style.