Randiv does a Rhodes
Never too early to party
Is 3pm too soon in the day to put on your dancing shoes? Not for the crowds in Dambulla. Within half an hour of the start of the game, they were swaying in the stands; from the trendily-attired youngsters to the grey-haired old-timers. And the party only got more raucous as the day progressed and the number of spectators swelled. There were cheery shouts at every Indian wicket, but their spirits were hardly dampened even during the hour when Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni were pushing India towards a position of strength.
Randiv or Rhodes?
Despite not looking fluent in the tournament, Gautam Gambhir has played a big role in both of India's victories so far. He was patiently setting himself up for another hefty innings, when it came to an abrupt end courtesy an outstanding catch from Suraj Randiv. A short delivery from Angelo Mathews sat up to be hit, Gambhir duly clobbered it towards short midwicket where Randiv lunged like a goalkeeper and latched onto the ball, one-handed and only a few inches off the ground.
Rohit and Dhoni played risk-free cricket to stitch together 79 runs and drag India to 189 for 4. The stand ended and India went into freefall when Chamara Kapugedera fielded at point and rifled in a direct hit to catch Dhoni short. Sri Lanka's sharp fielding had accounted for the wickets of India's two senior-most batsmen.
A considered verdict
Kumar Sangakkara and the rest of the Sri Lankans were convinced they had Dinesh Karthik caught behind off Rangana Herath. However, there was no response to their confident appeal from umpire Billy Bowden. Karthik must have felt he survived seeing the unmoved umpire, but an age after the initial appeal, Bowden raised the finger. It was then Karthik's turn to not move, looking on in disbelief before finally trudging off.
The crowd waited in anticipation as Farveez Maharoof ran in to bowl his hat-trick ball. Zaheer Khan took strike only to notice the bails were already off, thanks to the stiff Dambulla breeze. After they were put in place, the excitement built up again as Maharoof charged in and duly delivered what the fans wanted: Zaheer fiddled at a delivery outside off and Sangakkara pouched it diving to his right. It was only the second time a bowler had taken three in three in Sri Lanka.
Dinda loses the plot
Tailenders are prone to the odd moment of madness, but it is hard to explain the stroke that got Ashok Dinda out. India had only two wickets in hand, nine overs to play out and a well-set Rohit in the middle. Dinda's job was merely to turn over the strike to the specialist batsman, but when Maharoof slipped in a yorker, Dinda went for an unnecessary heave and was bowled.
Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo