India take 2-0 lead with convincing win at Mohali
With the help of Man of the Match Pathan's four wicket haul which rocked Sri Lanka's top order, India first bowled out Sri Lanka for a paltry 107 in the second one-dayer at Mohali
. Then the target was chased down thanks to some electric hitting by Sehwag and Tendulkar, the latter registering his second fifty of the series. This win puts India 2-0 up in the seven game series, having won the first game at Nagpur
It is thus perhaps fair to say that things couldn't have turned out better for India. At the start of the game though, there was the real danger of a huge selection mess up
when Sree Santh was picked as the substitute player. He never came anywhere close to bowling or batting, for halfway through the first fifteen overs, Sri Lanka were 33/3 and then slipped further to 54/5 by the 15th and 80/7 by the 21st over. Some late order hitting by Murali helped them past 120.
Sangakkara was promoted to open while Atapattu came in at #3. If any of the Indian fielders had a sense of history, they'd have repeated Viv Richards' taunt to Sunil Gavaskar
at Madras in 1983. Jayasuriya slashed to third man in the first over. The biggest sign that it could be a good day for the Indian bowlers was when Agarkar actually bowled six balls on a consistently good line and length to end up with a maiden over. A couple of overs later, he got Atapattu to edge to Dhoni. Jayawardene made it worse by flicking straight to Venugopal Rao at square leg who would have been pleasantly surprised to be in the thick of the action.
Just when it seemed like Sangakkara, who played a few nice cuts past a packed offside field, and Arnold were building up a partnership, the wicket-keeper played a horrible shot and his attempted pull went no further than mid on. Dilshan was plumb lbw off the very next ball and while the hat-trick was saved, Sri Lanka were in real trouble. Arnold was then caught by Dravid off Harbhajan. Jai Prakash Yadav and Harbhajan bowled extremely well in tandem, giving away very few runs. Agarkar then ran out Vaas. Chandana, Sri Lanka's substitute came in to replace Dilhara Fernando, presumably to ensure that Sri Lanka got a competitive score. He and Maharoof put on 20-odd runs in over 9 overs, such was the way Harbhajan and Yadav bowled, before Maharoof was caught easily by Yuvraj at point. An inswinging yorker sent Zoysa on his way first ball. Some antics and wild swinging from Murali then spoilt Yadav's analysis before Harbhajan had him bowled.
Sri Lanka's innings lasted 35.4 overs, bizarrely enough, the same number of overs their innings lasted at Nagpur.
India's reply was full of aggression. After a relatively sedate first three overs, Zoysa's second over went for 14 runs, with Sehwag hitting one six and two boundaries. Tendulkar then hit three boundaries in the next over bowled by Vaas and India had sped along from 16/0 in 3 overs to 43/0 in 5 overs. Totally determined to not let Murali, who came in to bowl the 7th over, dictate terms, Tendulkar hit Murali for two boundaries in the first couple of balls. Sehwag then threw his wicket away, caught and bowled by Maharoof off a slower ball. His 38 had come off just 29 deliveries.
Jai Prakash Yadav was promoted, with Venugopal Rao presumably wondering when he'd get to bat in the series. He and Tendulkar put on 35 in half-a-dozen overs during the course of which Tendulkar went past yet another one-day fifty. Dravid then joined Tendulkar for what was supposedly the most boring part of the day's play. But Murali's brilliance enlivened up the proceedings for one final time when he had Tendulkar playing and missing repeatedly in a couple of overs before Tendulkar decided that he'd had enough and came down the track and hit a (miscued?) boundary to end the game.
Jaipur hosts the next one-dayer on the 31st.