Monday, July 23, 2012

India beats Lanka at Hambantota


At Hambantota on 21st July 2012, India batting in a One dayer after a gap of 4 months, looked good – the batting clicked, the fielding was miserable and won convincingly  by 21 runs.  India made yet another 300, finishing at 314 for 6 thanks to another good century by Virat Kohli and a good 96 by  Sehwag.  Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni upped the ante towards the end making 79 in nine overs towards the finish.   Irfan Pathan and Ashwin bowled well while Umesh Yadav, Zaheer went for runs.  

Even on a subcontinent wicket a 300+ chase is eternally difficult and Zaheer was moving the ball appreciably though he was all over.  For Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara scratched around – he made his third century in four international games, but never took the chase closer to what was needed.  While he made runs, they would count as individual runs not in the cause of the team. By the time he departed there was little hope and the lusty hitting of Malinga off Umesh Yadav only brought cheers but noway closer to the victory. 

Earlier after Gambhir’s early departure, Kohli steadied the boat along with Sehwag and the next wicket fell only in the 32nd over after a good 173 partnership – a run out ending the partnership denying Sehwag his 16th ODI ton, run out by Perera.   Kohli completed his 12th century, 4th against Lanka, his first in Lanka.  Rohit Sharma battled and on the field was shabby, was also behind the needless overthrow which went for 4. 

India play again here – Hambantota has a good ground but reportedly not the good facilities of hotels and the like. The project being given to Chinese, there reportedly were signboards in Chinese.   The district is the constituency of Lakshman Namal Rajapaksa, a lawyer and son of the President - Mahinda Rajapaksa . It was Namal's dream to build the stadium in the village of Sooriyaweva, and through political will it was readied before the 2011 World Cup. The World T20 is expected to see bigger crowds though this is one place which is not well connected.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.       
22nd July 2012. 

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