Sri Lanka v India, 2nd ODI, Hambantota
Perera, Mathews Level Series 1-124-Jul-2012 14:12:00 GMT
Hambantota: Sri Lanka displayed an all-round performance to register a comprehensive 9-wicket win over India in the second ODI to level the five-match series 1-1 at Hambantota.
Chasing a target of 139, which isn't good enough for even Twenty20 format, Sri Lankan openers Upul Tharanga (59 no, 60 balls) and Tillekaratne Dilshan (50, 49 balls, 5x4) added 119 runs as the islanders hardly broke sweat while racing to the target in only 19.5 overs.
Save opener Gautam Gambhir, who scored a fighting 65 on 96 balls with four boundaries, the other batsmen paid heavy price for their indiscretion on a pitch that demanded judicious shot selection. Thisara Perera (3-14) and Angelo Mathews (3-19) ran through the Indian top-order.
Although there was a greenish tinge, the pitch, which was primarily on the lower side, also produced the odd deliveries that reared up from the three quarter.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and expectedly decided to bat despite windy conditions that aided swing bowlers.
The visitors got off to a brisk start courtesy Virender Sehwag (15) as he blasted debutant Isuru Udana for a couple of boundaries as they raced to 31 in just three overs.
After Udana went for 16 in his first over, Mahela Jayawardene had no option but to turn to Perera whose slower delivery did the trick after Sehwag committed to the shot early for the bowler to take a sharp reflex catch.
Gambhir, meanwhile, got to his 32nd half-century with No. 10 batsmen Pragyan Ojha for company. He ultimately ran out of patience as he tried to steer a Lasith Malinga delivery, only for Sangakkara to effect a brilliant one-handed catch.
Defending a small target was always going to be difficult irrespective of the conditions and India needed early breakthroughs. However, the pace trio of Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan and Umesh Yadav presented the opening duo with a lot of width as they raced to 64 for no loss before break.
When Ashwin finally got rid of Dilshan, the contest was as good as over. It was Dinesh Chandimal whose streaky shot through second slip helped Lanka reach the target with 181 balls remaining.
India 138 (Gambhir 65, Perera 3-19, Mathews 3-14)
Sri Lanka 139 for 1 (Tharanga 59*, Dilshan 50)
Result Sri Lanka beat India by nine wickets
MOM Thissara Parera (Sri Lanka)