Really.. No heart breaks! And the super happy moment was when the team was announced! Sachin paaji back in playing 11 in place for Sehwag (per rotation policy!). The surprise entry of Irfan Pathan for Zaheer Khan! (Finally, Irfan got a match!).. As usual, SL won the toss and decided to bat first... Trust me, I knew we would win.. Biased Indian mentality!
Rotation Policy: Team India will rotate their seniors: Gauti, Sachin and Sehwag in the playing 11 to allow inclusion of the younger players giving them opportunity to play! Smart move or no? Well, that is a big debate!!
Back to the action: What a match! Who would expect the end that way? Specially when we started so well.. We bagged 2 wickets in the first 10 overs. 1 by R Vinay Kumar and the 2nd by Irfan Pathan. Steady start! The match went very slow till Sangakarra's wicket fell. Then, Chandimal handled the SL innings strongly scoring 81 runs from 91 balls with a strong support from the captain Jayawardene.
After scoring 43 runs, Jayawardene fell the victim of R Vinay Kumar. Following his suit, Chandimal immediately got out to R Ashwin. Then, SL crawled to decent score of 236-9 in 50 overs.
Kinda didn't watch many overs as it was getting boring too! :P :P
Team India's start was the same. We lost an early wicket of Sachin scoring only 15 runs. Same with Virat Kohli, out on 15 runs. Ditto Rohit Sharma, 15 runs. In came Raina. But he too could not deliver and continued to be out of form getting out at 8 runs. In came, captain cool who kept his calm and gave good support to Gauti who was scoring very well for India.
An unfortunate incident came when Gauti was on 91. A small mis-match by captain Dhoni led to Gauti's RUN-OUT. Infact, Dhoni accepted the fault in the post-match presentation. But this was the highest partnership for Team India: 60 runs. By this, Team India was 178-5. Jadeja failed to bat longer than 3 runs.
Next over by Malinga: first ball: Ashwin mis-timed it; the ball was in the air for a long time; but as the fate would be, Sangakarra dropped it! 1 life for Ashwin. Second was the DOT Ball. In the 3rd ball, Ashwin hit direct catch to the fielder extra cover. And who did not love that SIX by Irfan Pathan? Well that SIX was a no-ball too! My question is who can risk a full-toss ball at such crucial stage? (Every1 jumped off their seats at this 1!). And the next ball, Irfan Pathan sacrificed his wicket in the 49th over to save Dhoni in a RUN OUT. Bravo, as we must say!
While I may sound like a commentator from ESPN, I cannot help it.. The match was such a ball-by-ball thrill to see.. Work left aside, all I knew was.. We have to win!!
Vinay Kumar came next. In the last over.. Team India needed 9 runs of 6 balls. Dhoni to face Malinga! 2 runs, 1 run, 1 run, 1run and OUT! Vinay Kumar goes RUN OUT. Dhoni on strike again. 4 runs in 1 ball. Umesh comes in and just has to run! Malinga throws an almost wide ball. Dhoni hits it at extra cover, fielder stops it at sweeper cover. Till then, we have run 3 runs.... And it's a Tie!
What? Yes! It is a Tie! .. An amazing thriller to say.. The match ended in a Tie on a Valentine's Day; simply means No Heart-Break! .. Each team got 2 points and MSD got MOM for his calm-headed approach in this tense situation!
A special mention to Devengere Express aka Vinay Kumar. He is improving by every match and is delivering his 100%. While Umesh Yadav is said to be the find of the Tour, Vinay Kumar too, is making a mark in the Team. So far, he is also the highest wicket taker in the CB series.
It is also a series of continuous non-performance for Rohit Sharma and might get replaced by Manoj Tiwari in the next match. Well, he is trying and he has got good number of chances too. Probably not the right time.
Captain cool has again proved how being calm pays of well. In the earlier match, he was called a freak by the Aus captain Clarke! Simply put, that is his strength and that is his weapon!
All-in-all, Well played both teams! Well done..!