Indian team at Hobart played an outstanding cricket both with bat and ball to beat the Sri Lanka by seven wickets to enter the Final of CB Series. Not only they beat the Lankan’s but they found a genuine line and length another medium-pacer for an option.
Chasing a small target of 180 runs for victory India achieve the target with ease in 32.2 overs with the loss of three wicket. India got of to flying start by their new opening pair Sachin Tendulkar and Robin Uthappa. However Robin Uthappa (11 runs of 9 balls)didn’t last longer when he gave a simple catch to mid-on .
In-form batsman Gautam Gambhir carried his form where he left-out in the last match against Australia and with Sachin Tendulkar he put on 102 runs for the 2nd wicket. Sachin Tendulkar struck the ball well from the word go and looked in great nick. He played some fine cover drives and sweetly-timed flicks and looked set for a big score. However, he was out for 63 when he tried to lift off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan over mid-off but caught by Chamara Silva. His 54-ball knock included 10 hits to the fence.
After Tendulkar's departure, Yuvraj played some big shots and looked in good nick before he was caught by Tilllakaratne Dilshan off Dilruwan Perera for 36, which came off 35 balls including three fours and a six.
Gambhir, who remained unbeaten on 63 off 89 balls with five hits to the boundary, played yet another match-winning knock and in the company of young Rohit Sharma (three not out) took India to the final with 17 points to their credit.
Earlier Indian captain M.S. Dhoni won the toss and put Sri Lanka into bat. Sri Lanka go of to superb start and at one stage they were 72/1 in 14 overs, however Praveen struck three deadly blows, removing a well set Sangakkara, skipper Jayawardene and Chamara Silva to leave the Lankan’s at 81/4 in 19th over.
But the biggest blow was dealt by another all-rounder, Irfan Pathan, when he had danger man Jayasuriya caught behind the wicket for 34 off 44 balls with two fours and a six to reduce Sri Lanka to 81-5.
Ishant Sharma brought into the attack at that stage and he did exactly what was required removing T.Dilshan leg before the wicket for eight, which came off 12 balls. Soon after he had Chaminda Vaas caught by Gautam Gambhir at mid-wicket off an attempted hook shot for no score to reduce the Lankans to a sorry looking 93-7 off 26 overs.
However some valiant effort from the tail enders and C.Kapugdra (57 runs of 86 balls) gave Sri Lanka something to bowl at.
Sri Lanka – 179/10 in 47.1 Overs
KC.Kaupedra– 57S.Jayasurya– 34
P.Kumar – 10-2-31-4I.sharma- 10-0-41-4
India – 180/3 in 32.2 Overs
G.Gambhir– 63*S.Tendulkar – 63
L.Malinga – 6-0-36-1D.Parera- 4-0-17-1
Highlights - India Vs Sri Lanka 11th ODI CB Series