Commonwealth Bank Series, 2007/08 / Commentary

Commonwealth Bank Series - 5th match

India v Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets (with 12 balls remaining) (D/L method)

1.25pm Sri Lanka have called in Farveez Maharoof and Chamara Kulasekara in. Ishara Amerasinghe and Upul Tharanga are out.

1.20pm All righty, Sri Lanka have won the toss and will field. India are unchanged. India 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Irfan Pathan, 4 Gautam Gambhir, 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt, wk), 8 Robin Uthappa, 9 Harbhajan Singh, 10 Sreesanth, 11 Ishant Sharma.

12.35pm Players have been spotted out there, warming up. And the crowd's starting to fill up. The news from the inspection is that the umpires were not happy with the conditions inside the 30-yard circle and they're looking at another inspection at 12.50 and toss at about 1. This brings us to a 29-over game - Twentynine29 anyone?

12.30pm We're looking at a 30- or 32-over game and for a 1pm start. More confirmations when I have them. "Best of luck for your umbrella business," says Abhinav. "but we cricket fans may advise you to open a cricket stadium dome manufacturing business." Not a bad plan.

12.10am Hurrah, the covers are coming off and there could be cricket in an hour or so's time. The umpires are already out there testing the track with their feet. There could be something like a 30-over game around 1pm on what's still a pretty damp day. Stay tuned for more updates.

11.50am Hmm, rain continues I'm afraid and the plenty of overs have already been lost.

11.20am Still here, and the news still isn't that great. More rain. Anyone know any good anti-rain dances and if so can you please get jigging. Thankyou.

10.25am Rajesh, our very own statsguru, has something for us. "If this match is washed out, it'll be the 11th no-result in ODIs between Sri Lanka and India, which is a record for any two teams. The next best (worst?) is Australia v India. Sri Lanka would have been involved in 22 washouts (if today's goes that way), and half of them have been versus India."

10.15am It may be raining at Manuka Oval, which should be hosting only its second international match right now, but the sun's always shining in Slogout. While we're plugging check this and that but don't get so emerged in the latter that you don't come back. For more facts about this game check out the bulletin, lovingly crafted by Brydon Coverdale. I'm Jenny Thompson by the way, and I'm going to start an umbrella manufacturing business.

10.00am The game should be starting now, but instead it's the groundstaff who are in the middle. The good news is that the forecast says it's supposed to clear in the afternoon.

It's been an unusual season in Australia rain-wise to say the least. The first two matches of this series were called off of course, the first time in Australia two ODIs in a row have been washed out.

9.40am local time Hello everyone and welcome along to what will be coverage of India and Sri Lanka's CB Series game at Manuka Oval if and when the rain stops. Unfortunately it's been cats and dogs all morning and there are puddles everywhere.

At best it's going to be something like a 25-over game, that's if drainage is good. Hand-run super soppers are trying to drain water from the covers, while a couple of normal ones are doing the rounds in the outfield. There are puddles of water near the covers, it's not looking good already I'm afraid.

0.1

Vaas to Sehwag, no run, Vaas starts with a dot

0.2

Vaas to Sehwag, no run, and another

0.3

Vaas to Sehwag, no run, a play and a miss as the ball arcs down the channel

0.4

Vaas to Sehwag, no run, more of the same

0.5

Vaas to Sehwag, no run, tight line once more and again a play and a miss, with a great delivery down off which has him pushing forward

Remember this is a 29-over game

0.6

Vaas to Sehwag, no run, even tighter this time, nipping back a touch from outside off and prompting the back-foot defence

Good start for Sri Lanka, a maiden in this 29-29 match.

End of over 1 (maiden) India 0/0 (RR: 0.00)
V Sehwag    0* (6b)      WPUJC Vaas    1-1-0-0
SR Tendulkar    0* (0b)     

Malinga, of course, to share the new-ball honours with Vaas. Four bowlers can bowl six overs, and one five, just to confirm that.

1.1

Malinga to Tendulkar, no run, starts with one which swings away a touch but begins on leg and the batsman pushes into the leg-side

Bruce Oxenford standing in his first international match as umpire by the way

1.2

Malinga to Tendulkar, no run, a touch of movement away outside off, but enough room for the batsman to play into the covers

Amerasinghe's got a side strain, incidentally, if you're wondering where he is

1.3

Malinga to Tendulkar, no run, draws Tendulkar into a forward press away from his body with some movement away from the right hander. Terrific movement

The crowd are really getting into it, having been so patient, and the drums are a-drumming

1.4

Malinga to Tendulkar, no run, move movemend away, the batsman once more playing away from his body

1.5

Malinga to Tendulkar, no run, once again there's movement and a play away. No great pace in the pitch, the ball zooming through to the keeper's knees

1.6

Malinga to Tendulkar, 1 run, Tendulkar finds the gap through the covers and India are off the mark at last

End of over 2 (1 run) India 1/0 (RR: 0.50)
SR Tendulkar    1* (6b)      SL Malinga    1-0-1-0
V Sehwag    0* (6b)      WPUJC Vaas    1-1-0-0

2.1

Vaas to Tendulkar, 2 runs, swing on to the legs, and tucked off the legs through square

2.2

Vaas to Tendulkar, no run, a hint of width outside off and plenty of bounce, the batsman drawing up on to his back foot as if he's about to waltz, and punch-drives to the covers

2.3

Vaas to Tendulkar, FOUR, outside off, poor length, and that's smashed on the up through the covers, Tendulkar using his body to power through the ball

2.4

Vaas to Tendulkar, 1 run, comes outside the crease and meets the ball on line with leg, driving out to mid-on

2.5

Vaas to Sehwag, no run, testing swing right up there on off, defended on the front foot at the last second after coming down to look to drive

2.6

Vaas to Sehwag, no run, aggression from Vaas there, banging the ball in short and straight and the rise surprised Sehwag who was caught on the upper body

End of over 3 (7 runs) India 8/0 (RR: 2.66)
V Sehwag    0* (8b)      WPUJC Vaas    2-1-7-0
SR Tendulkar    8* (10b 1x4)      SL Malinga    1-0-1-0

3.1

Malinga to Tendulkar, no run, pushed up there on off, tucking up the batsman who didn't have the room he wanted to drive

Two slips in by the way

3.2

Malinga to Tendulkar, 1 run, drifted on to leg, not a bad length, brushed down off the hips with a wristy swivel into midwicket

3.3

Malinga to Sehwag, no run, outside off, short, and fended back down into the covers

3.4

Malinga to Sehwag, 2 runs, on leg, turned off the legs to midwicket, where the fielder gets a hand to it with the dive

3.5

Malinga to Sehwag, no run, outside off, cut down through the gully

3.6

Malinga to Sehwag, FOUR, on the legs, a touch short and played well off the legs in front of square

End of over 4 (7 runs) India 15/0 (RR: 3.75)
V Sehwag    6* (12b 1x4)      SL Malinga    2-0-8-0
SR Tendulkar    9* (12b 1x4)      WPUJC Vaas    2-1-7-0

4.1

Vaas to Tendulkar, 1 run, on the legs, turned round into midwicket

4.2

Vaas to Sehwag, no run, outside off, pushed off the legs to point

4.3

Vaas to Sehwag, 1 run, straight, coming in at the batsman who straightens and plays it back to the off-side

4.4

Vaas to Tendulkar, no run, comes down the track looking to play out through the covers and completely plays the wrong line, the ball shooting through

4.5

Vaas to Tendulkar, FOUR, on off, played off the legs through fine leg, great shot

4.6

Vaas to Tendulkar, no run, on the off side, defended on the back foot

End of over 5 (6 runs) India 21/0 (RR: 4.20)
SR Tendulkar    14* (16b 2x4)      WPUJC Vaas    3-1-13-0
V Sehwag    7* (14b 1x4)      SL Malinga    2-0-8-0

5.1

Malinga to Sehwag, 3 runs, a touch short outside off, played off the back foot through the covers and there's a replay needed as to whether the fielder cut it off inside the rope

5.2

Malinga to Tendulkar, 2 runs, worked it out in front of deep midwicket

5.3

Malinga to Tendulkar, no run, outside off, a touch short, played off the back foot into the covers

5.4

Malinga to Tendulkar, FOUR, on off, short, and whipped over through midwicket with the wrists, some great timing

5.5

Malinga to Tendulkar, 1 run, outside off, plenty of width, the batsman waits and cuts down, guiding it down through third man

5.6

Malinga to Sehwag, FOUR, slightly down leg now, and turned off the legs very fine

Good over for India, that one

End of over 6 (14 runs) India 35/0 (RR: 5.83)
V Sehwag    14* (16b 2x4)      SL Malinga    3-0-22-0
SR Tendulkar    21* (20b 3x4)      WPUJC Vaas    3-1-13-0

Maharoof is coming into the attack now

6.1

Maharoof to Tendulkar, no run, follows the batsman back behind the stumps with the ball, the batsman coming back to play down the back foot and defend

6.2

Maharoof to Tendulkar, 2 runs, on middle, turned off the legs on the front foot, to midwicket

6.3

Maharoof to Tendulkar, no run, pushed down off now on a good length, the batsman comes across and is squared up, just failing to connect with the outside edge

6.4

Maharoof to Tendulkar, FOUR, short ball on off, pulled round in front of midwicket

6.5

Maharoof to Tendulkar, 1 run, on off, turned round off the legs behind square

6.6

Maharoof to Sehwag, no run, a much better line to end the over, and some encouraging rise for the bowler, the batsman jumping into line on the back foot and then electing to leave it

End of over 7 (7 runs) India 42/0 (RR: 6.00)
V Sehwag    14* (17b 2x4)      MF Maharoof    1-0-7-0
SR Tendulkar    28* (25b 4x4)      SL Malinga    3-0-22-0

7.1

Kulasekara to Tendulkar, 2 runs, good bounce but Tendulkar picks the gap well through the covers

7.2

Kulasekara to Tendulkar, 1 run, outside off, Tendulkar looks to come out and hunt it down, driving hard with one leg in the air to the covers

7.3

Kulasekara to Sehwag, OUT, Kulasekara has the breakthrough, banging in a short one outside off, Sehwag waits and opens the face to steer up and over to third man for a straightforward catch

V Sehwag c Muralitharan b Kulasekara 14 (34m 18b 2x4 0x6) SR: 77.77

A planned dismissal that one, it seemed. Gautam Gambhir to the crease now, one slip waiting for him

7.4

Kulasekara to Gambhir, no run, stays over for the left hander, pushing it wide past him down to the keeper

7.5

Kulasekara to Gambhir, 3 runs, pushed out off the front foot through the covers off a wideish ball and they gamble well on the extra run to Jayasuriya's arm

7.6

Kulasekara to Tendulkar, 1 run, on leg this time, pushed to short midwicket

End of over 8 (7 runs) India 49/1 (RR: 6.12)
SR Tendulkar    32* (28b 4x4)      KMDN Kulasekara    1-0-7-1
G Gambhir    3* (2b)      MF Maharoof    1-0-7-0

8.1

Maharoof to Tendulkar, no run, a testing length outside off, the ball rising, Tendulkar driving out at it, taking an inside edge and he looks back quickly, wondering if he has chopped on. He hasn't, and survives another ball

8.2

Maharoof to Tendulkar, OUT, a huge wicket, Tendulkar looks to aerial drive over long-on, the ball pinging up off the base of the bat and instead flying wide to deep third man, the fielder running round and taking a high catch at collar-bone height

SR Tendulkar c Kulasekara b Maharoof 32 (41m 30b 4x4 0x6) SR: 106.66

Big blow for India and Sri Lanka have suddenly regained the momentum with two quick wickets

Rohit Sharma comes to the crease now

8.3

Maharoof to Gambhir, no run, stays over for this left hander, and has him in immediate trouble, the batsman failing to connect as the ball whooshes past his blade

8.4

Maharoof to Gambhir, 1 run, India's fifty up now with a controlled steer to third man

8.5

Maharoof to RG Sharma, no run, tries to pull a straight one which is on to him faster than he was expecting

8.6

Maharoof to RG Sharma, 1 run, on leg and was aiming further down, the ball helped on its way with a flick off the pads

End of over 9 (2 runs) India 51/2 (RR: 5.66)
RG Sharma    1* (2b)      MF Maharoof    2-0-9-1
G Gambhir    4* (4b)      KMDN Kulasekara    1-0-7-1

9.1

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, 1 run, outside off, mispunched up towards cover but the ball lands safe and the batsmen run through on the misfield

9.2

Kulasekara to Gambhir, no run, ooh, very close to the edge, Gambhir trying to dab out to third man but nearly took the outside of the bat through to Sangakkara

9.3

Kulasekara to Gambhir, no run, down the track and the shot of a man who's eye isn't yet in, flapping a cut wildly as the ball pitches wide and moves off the seam wider

9.4

Kulasekara to Gambhir, no run, comes out and defends on the front foot this time

9.5

Kulasekara to Gambhir, 1 run, on leg, good length, and wants to turn it off the legs to midwicket, instead a leading edge pops up safe into the covers

9.6

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, 1 run, outside off and pushed to the covers this time

End of over 10 (3 runs) India 54/2 (RR: 5.40)
RG Sharma    3* (4b)      KMDN Kulasekara    2-0-10-1
G Gambhir    5* (8b)      MF Maharoof    2-0-9-1

10.1

Maharoof to RG Sharma, no run, restrictive ball just outside off, which nips in a touch and prompts the defensive

10.2

Maharoof to RG Sharma, no run, similar kind of delivery and again the ball is defended

10.3

Maharoof to RG Sharma, 1 run, on leg, waits, and works round behind square

The run rate has eased off now with the two new batsmen at the crease

10.4

Maharoof to Gambhir, no run, well bowled indeed, a touch of bounce, the batsman looking to play the dab shot but deceived just outside off

10.5

Maharoof to Gambhir, 1 run, jabs out this time, the ball a touch wider and fuller, and they run through

10.6

Maharoof to RG Sharma, 1 run, worked a short ball on off into the leg-side for an easy, strike-stealing single

End of over 11 (3 runs) India 57/2 (RR: 5.18)
RG Sharma    5* (8b)      MF Maharoof    3-0-12-1
G Gambhir    6* (10b)      KMDN Kulasekara    2-0-10-1

11.1

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, no run, short outside off, the ball hurries on and fools the batsman who's trying to hook down off his nose

11.2

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, no run, outside off, cuts down horribly outside the line of the ball

11.3

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, 2 runs, angled in to the right hander but wide enough to chop down through third man and they scramble back for the second

11.4

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, 1 run, outside off, good length, pushed towards mid-on for an easy single

11.5

Kulasekara to Gambhir, 1 run, outside off, pushed into the covers for a quick single

11.6

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, 1 run, driven into the covers

End of over 12 (5 runs) India 62/2 (RR: 5.16)
RG Sharma    9* (13b)      KMDN Kulasekara    3-0-15-1
G Gambhir    7* (11b)      MF Maharoof    3-0-12-1

12.1

Maharoof to RG Sharma, no run, dragged down a touch outside off, cut down to the gully and thrown back in quickly

12.2

Maharoof to RG Sharma, no run, overpitched and again saved by the fielder, with a push to the covers off the back foot

12.3

Maharoof to RG Sharma, 1 run, on the legs, pushed in front of square for a quick single

12.4

Maharoof to Gambhir, 1 run, pushed across the left hander, dabbed down to short third man

12.5

Maharoof to RG Sharma, no run, dragged it a touch short and slower, defended on the back foot

12.6

Maharoof to RG Sharma, no run, defended on the back foot, pushed into the covers

End of over 13 (2 runs) India 64/2 (RR: 4.92)
RG Sharma    10* (18b)      MF Maharoof    4-0-14-1
G Gambhir    8* (12b)      KMDN Kulasekara    3-0-15-1

Murali's into the attack now in his 300th ODI

13.1

Muralitharan to Gambhir, 1 run, pushed across the legt hander who drives it into the covers

13.2

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, no run, nipped back in to the right hander who pushes into the covers

13.3

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, no run, outside off, pushed to short midwicket, the batsman watching patiently

13.4

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, no run, right up there, pushed off the back foot defensively

13.5

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, 1 run, outside off, pressed down defensively into the gully

13.6

Muralitharan to Gambhir, 1 run, down the track, goes for the big booming on-drive, worked into short midwicket in the end

End of over 14 (3 runs) India 67/2 (RR: 4.78)
G Gambhir    10* (14b)      M Muralitharan    1-0-3-0
RG Sharma    11* (22b)      MF Maharoof    4-0-14-1

14.1

Maharoof to Gambhir, 1 run, a quick single first up

14.2

Maharoof to RG Sharma, no run, rocks back and doesn't get his head down to meet one on off, nearly toe-ending a catch back to the bowler

14.3

Maharoof to RG Sharma, no run, on off, swung a touch away and on the rise, the ball crashing into the gloves as the batsman looks to cut to gully

14.4

Maharoof to RG Sharma, 1 run, slower ball, pushed into the covers

14.5

Maharoof to Gambhir, 1 run, an easy single now, jogged through

14.6

Maharoof to RG Sharma, FOUR, dragged down a touch outside off, the batsman waits and connects cleanly with a forceful cut through point

End of over 15 (7 runs) India 74/2 (RR: 4.93)
RG Sharma    16* (26b 1x4)      MF Maharoof    5-0-21-1
G Gambhir    12* (16b)      M Muralitharan    1-0-3-0

15.1

Muralitharan to Gambhir, 5 wides, this one was rarely veering down leg and India take the five wides, Gambhir shaping up to tickle round the corner

Sangakkara is fuming that the ball bounced below the glove

15.1

Muralitharan to Gambhir, 1 run, played on the front foot

15.2

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, 1 run, swivelled in on the front foot, a stab and a defence

15.3

Muralitharan to Gambhir, no run, outside off, turned down towards fien leg but stops on the shot, the ball going behind to the keeper who readies for a stumping/run-out chance

15.4

Muralitharan to Gambhir, FOUR, down the track, opens the shoulders and drives up and over extra cover, bissecting the field and that is a great shot, full of power

15.5

Muralitharan to Gambhir, 1 run, turned off the legs this time

15.6

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, no run, right up there on off, defended on the front foot

End of over 16 (12 runs) India 86/2 (RR: 5.37)
RG Sharma    17* (28b 1x4)      M Muralitharan    2-0-15-0
G Gambhir    18* (20b 1x4)      MF Maharoof    5-0-21-1

16.1

Vaas to Gambhir, 1 run, outside off, played down through third man

16.2

Vaas to RG Sharma, 1 run, angled in at him and he defends on the back foot

Vaas again being used in short bursts

16.3

Vaas to Gambhir, no run, right up there on off, played back down into the off-side

16.4

Vaas to Gambhir, FOUR, down the track and flashes another cover drive, this one a touch squarer, behind point in fact and that travels away

16.5

Vaas to Gambhir, 1 run, right up there, squeezed into the off-side and Sharma is quick but the underarmed direct hit is close...ah, he's safe

16.6

Vaas to RG Sharma, no run, pushed across the right hander who defends down off the back foot

End of over 17 (7 runs) India 93/2 (RR: 5.47)
RG Sharma    18* (30b 1x4)      WPUJC Vaas    4-1-20-0
G Gambhir    24* (24b 2x4)      M Muralitharan    2-0-15-0

17.1

Muralitharan to Gambhir, 1 run, on off, defended back down

17.2

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, 2 runs, driven out to the covers

17.3

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, 1 run, right up there, and turned off the legs to midwicket

17.4

Muralitharan to Gambhir, no run, outside off and defended down

17.5

Muralitharan to Gambhir, 1 wide, forced hard down leg, but too far

17.5

Muralitharan to Gambhir, 1 run, turned on to the legs again, and makes room to play off through square

That's the fifty partnership from 57 balls

17.6

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, 2 runs, comes down to defend, gets the outside edge towards third man

End of over 18 (8 runs) India 101/2 (RR: 5.61)
RG Sharma    23* (33b 1x4)      M Muralitharan    3-0-23-0
G Gambhir    26* (27b 2x4)      WPUJC Vaas    4-1-20-0

18.1

Vaas to Gambhir, FOUR, down the track to meet a straight one and launch it over extra cover again

Gambhir really hitting his entertaining straps right now

18.2

Vaas to Gambhir, 1 run, a cut dabbed down behind point

18.3

Vaas to RG Sharma, 1 run, driven forward for a quick single

18.4

Vaas to Gambhir, 1 run, outside off, cut down through gully

18.5

Vaas to RG Sharma, 1 run, on middle and leg, turned off the legs high to midwicket and it bounces once in front of the deep fielder

18.6

Vaas to Gambhir, 1 run, outside off, cut down off the back foot through gully

End of over 19 (9 runs) India 110/2 (RR: 5.78)
G Gambhir    33* (31b 3x4)      WPUJC Vaas    5-1-29-0
RG Sharma    25* (35b 1x4)      M Muralitharan    3-0-23-0

19.1

Malinga to Gambhir, 1 run, outside off, cut down off the back foot to gully

19.2

Malinga to RG Sharma, no run, short outside off, high bounce over the batsman's head

19.3

Malinga to RG Sharma, 1 run, followed the right hander on to the legs, up there, and defended on the front foot

19.4

Malinga to Gambhir, 1 run, outside off, wide, and pushed up to the covers with a scoop

19.5

Malinga to RG Sharma, no run, cut away outside off

19.6

Malinga to RG Sharma, OUT, a mix-up there, and the dangerous Gambhir is run out at the non-striker's end after the ball was dabbed to point, thrown back to Malinga who helps onto the stumps with a reverse flick

G Gambhir run out 35 (58m 33b 3x4 0x6) SR: 106.06

That could be the innings turning point

End of over 20 (3 runs) India 113/3 (RR: 5.65)
RG Sharma    26* (39b 1x4)      SL Malinga    4-0-25-0
     WPUJC Vaas    5-1-29-0

20.1

Muralitharan to Dhoni, 2 runs, on the legs, pushed out to midwicket for a well-run two

Picked the gap well there

20.2

Muralitharan to Dhoni, no run, on off, tight, defended forward

20.3

Muralitharan to Dhoni, no run, defended this time

20.4

Muralitharan to Dhoni, 2 runs, outside off, pushed to point for another well-run two

20.5

Muralitharan to Dhoni, 1 run, outside off, pushed to point now

20.6

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, 1 run, swept up high to square but lands safe

End of over 21 (6 runs) India 119/3 (RR: 5.66)
RG Sharma    27* (40b 1x4)      M Muralitharan    4-0-29-0
MS Dhoni    5* (5b)      SL Malinga    4-0-25-0

21.1

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, 1 run, banged in on off and middle and pulled high and over square

21.2

Kulasekara to Dhoni, 1 run, on off, short, and swivel-pulled round through midwicket

21.3

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, no run, on off, the batsman backed away and the ball just leapt over the sticks

21.4

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, no run, right up there at yorker length, and pushed into short midwicket

21.5

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, no run, defended quietly now

21.6

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, 1 run, a direct hit from the covers would have had him that time

End of over 22 (3 runs) India 122/3 (RR: 5.54)
RG Sharma    29* (45b 1x4)      KMDN Kulasekara    4-0-18-1
MS Dhoni    6* (6b)      M Muralitharan    4-0-29-0

22.1

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, SIX, down on one knee and that came right out of the middle, the slog sweep up and over midwicket and all the way

That went a long way indeed

22.2

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, 1 run, up there on off, pushed into the covers this time

22.3

Muralitharan to Dhoni, no run, on middle and leg, driven on the front foot to midwicket

22.4

Muralitharan to Dhoni, no run, comes out and defends in the end

22.5

Muralitharan to Dhoni, 1 leg bye, bark of an appeal from Sangakkara, asking if the ball came back from leg to hit middle-and-leg, leg-byes are given following the swivel off the knee roll

22.6

Muralitharan to RG Sharma, no run, defended this time

This is Maharoof's last permitted over

End of over 23 (8 runs) India 130/3 (RR: 5.65)
RG Sharma    36* (48b 1x4 1x6)      M Muralitharan    5-0-36-0
MS Dhoni    6* (9b)      KMDN Kulasekara    4-0-18-1

23.1

Maharoof to Dhoni, 1 run, worked into the covers, a push and run through

23.2

Maharoof to RG Sharma, 1 run, banged down on middle, the ball didn't get up quite as much as expected, the batsman taking his eyes off as he pulls to midwicket

23.3

Maharoof to Dhoni, no run, pushed forward and the batsmen scramble back into their creases, Sharma looking for the tip-and-run

23.4

Maharoof to Dhoni, FOUR, banged in short and pulled hard through the gap around midwicket, to bring up his first boundary of his innings

23.5

Maharoof to Dhoni, 2 runs, strays on to leg and Dhoni picks out the gap wide of the fielder and they run back, chancing the arm

23.6

Maharoof to Dhoni, FOUR, right up there, and dug back out through mid-off

"Boom boom Dhoni," reads a banner. It's not quite Afridi but it will do.

End of over 24 (12 runs) India 142/3 (RR: 5.91)
MS Dhoni    17* (14b 2x4)      MF Maharoof    6-0-33-1
RG Sharma    37* (49b 1x4 1x6)      M Muralitharan    5-0-36-0

24.1

Vaas to RG Sharma, 1 run, low full toss, driven hard to mid-off, not quite making the most of it

It's impossible not to sway your shoulders to the drum beat of the crowd

24.2

Vaas to Dhoni, no run, outside off, hit hard again, this time picking out cover

24.3

Vaas to Dhoni, FOUR, short outside off and Dhoni this time picks out the spot between mid-off and cover, this one travelling

24.4

Vaas to Dhoni, no run, defended on the front foot now

24.5

Vaas to Dhoni, 1 run, worked out in front of midwicket this time

24.6

Vaas to RG Sharma, FOUR, skewed this one fine off the pads

End of over 25 (10 runs) India 152/3 (RR: 6.08)
RG Sharma    42* (51b 2x4 1x6)      WPUJC Vaas    6-1-39-0
MS Dhoni    22* (18b 3x4)      MF Maharoof    6-0-33-1

25.1

Kulasekara to Dhoni, 1 run, the yorker, plenty of air, Dhoni digs that out, the ball spinning back towards the stumps but spins away from them in the end, the pair running through and the bowler nearly pushing the ball on with his feet

25.2

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, FOUR, backs away, deliberately exposing his stumps as he drives inside-out and hard out of the bottom of the bat up and over the covers

25.3

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, FOUR, cheeky, oh my, the bowler did well to angle the ball into him and it rose, the batsman standing tall and knocking it back straight past the keeper

Fifty up, quality innings, with four fours and a six, and 53 balls

25.4

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, 1 run, taken off the toes and pushed off the legs in front of square

25.5

Kulasekara to Dhoni, 2 runs, reverse sweep, beautiful shot in line with off to bring up the fifty partnership

25.6

Kulasekara to Dhoni, no run, outside off, driven off the back foot into the covers

End of over 26 (12 runs) India 164/3 (RR: 6.30)
MS Dhoni    25* (21b 3x4)      KMDN Kulasekara    5-0-30-1
RG Sharma    51* (54b 4x4 1x6)      WPUJC Vaas    6-1-39-0

26.1

Malinga to RG Sharma, 3 runs, great fielding from Kapugedara who just managed to get a hand on it with a big dive and gets up quickly to get the ball back to the keeper and keep them to three

26.2

Malinga to Dhoni, 1 run, yorker, right up there, and defended on the front foot

26.3

Malinga to RG Sharma, 1 run, moves way outside his stumps and the ball follows him, the batsman forced to defend at the last second

26.4

Malinga to Dhoni, 2 runs, right up there on off and middle, driven out to wide long-off and there's a fumble from Maharoof in the deep

26.5

Malinga to Dhoni, 1 run, outside off, driven deep and square in front of point this time

26.6

Malinga to RG Sharma, FOUR, outside off ready for a premeditated sweep back through fine leg, just avoiding the fielder in the air

End of over 27 (12 runs) India 176/3 (RR: 6.51)
RG Sharma    59* (57b 5x4 1x6)      SL Malinga    5-0-37-0
MS Dhoni    29* (24b 3x4)      KMDN Kulasekara    5-0-30-1

27.1

Kulasekara to Dhoni, 1 run, right up there on off, played round behind square this time

27.2

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, 2 runs, on off, attempts a pull through midwicket, ends up forcing it through mid-on and picked up a good two

27.3

Kulasekara to RG Sharma, 1 run, up there on off, forced out off the front foot into the covers

27.4

Kulasekara to Dhoni, 1 run, OUT, a very tight run-out decision coming back for the second from the drive to mid-on and given out on the line with the throw back to Sangakkara who crashes the ball on to the stumps in the nick of time

MS Dhoni run out 31 (33m 26b 3x4 0x6) SR: 119.23

27.5

Kulasekara to Yuvraj Singh, FOUR, wastes no time smashed from outside off pulled hard in front of square

27.6

Kulasekara to Yuvraj Singh, 2 runs, driven out to mid-on

End of over 28 (11 runs) India 187/4 (RR: 6.67)
Yuvraj Singh    6* (2b 1x4)      KMDN Kulasekara    6-0-41-1
RG Sharma    62* (59b 5x4 1x6)      SL Malinga    5-0-37-0

Last over coming up. Hate to be the bearer of dark cloud news but...

28.1

Malinga to RG Sharma, FOUR, outside off, cut hard off the front foot hard through point

28.2

Malinga to RG Sharma, 1 run, stabbed down hard on it, worked out to square

28.3

Malinga to Yuvraj Singh, OUT, yorker outside off, backs away and stabs at it with an aerial pop up to wide mid-off

Yuvraj Singh c Muralitharan b Malinga 6 (3m 3b 1x4 0x6) SR: 200.00

28.4

Malinga to RG Sharma, no run, follows him down leg, digging in the bouncer too, pulling out of the hook

28.5

Malinga to RG Sharma, 2 runs, backs away behind the stumps and drives up and over the covers out towards the boundary

The groundstaff are poised with the covers

28.6

Malinga to RG Sharma, 1 run, outside off, slower ball, the batsman backs away and adjusts for the pace, steering down off the back foot

4.25pm Hello sunshine. And more good news, we have a target Sri Lanka will need to chase down 154 in 21 overs. By the way, the radar is free of other rainclouds, hurrah.

4.15pm Just a slight drizzle now - the cut off time is 4:43 local time, not a minute longer. Oh good, they are removing the big covers, but the cover that is protecting the pitch will remain as it is still drizzling although ABC reckons it's a 4.40 restart. Not much room to manoeuvre there then.

4.10pm The umpires are out there with umbrellas, stamping on the outfield and feeling the damage done. No time can be added on as everything that was available was taken into account with the delayed start.

"We only have nine overs to play with," notes my undersung colleague Sajan who is scoring this match for us today (ie I only add the comments). "That means we have around 45 minutes to play with once the innings break is over and if you take into account the 15-20 minutes needed to get the covers off, we have 30 minutes - or it's a washout."

4.00pm Rrr, as I think the technical term is, the covers are on as it's started raining again.

Innings break Superb batting effort by India to pick themselves up after a slow patch following Tendulkar's departure. Great innings by Sharma in particular, well crafted, and he, Gambhir and Dhoni have taken India to a very competitive total.

End of over 29 (8 runs) India 195/5
RG Sharma    70* (64b 6x4 1x6)      SL Malinga    6-0-45-1
RV Uthappa    0* (0b)      KMDN Kulasekara    6-0-41-1
Tournament Results
Australia v India at Brisbane - Mar 4, 2008
India won by 9 runs
Australia v India at Sydney - Mar 2, 2008
India won by 6 wickets (with 25 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Melbourne - Feb 29, 2008
Sri Lanka won by 13 runs
India v Sri Lanka at Hobart - Feb 26, 2008
India won by 7 wickets (with 106 balls remaining)
Australia v India at Sydney - Feb 24, 2008
Australia won by 18 runs
More results »

Photos

Feb 12, 2008

The Indians celebrate after Harbhajan Singh accounts for Kumar Sangakkara, India v Sri Lanka, CB Series, 5th ODI, Canberra, February 12, 2008

The Indians celebrate after Harbhajan Singh accounts for Kumar Sangakkara

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Feb 12, 2008

Ishant Sharma celebrates after getting Sanath Jayasuriya caught off a top edge, India v Sri Lanka, CB Series, 5th ODI, Canberra, February 12, 2008

Ishant Sharma celebrates after getting Sanath Jayasuriya caught off a top edge

© Getty Images

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