Sri Lanka v India, 3rd ODI, Colombo July 28, 2012

Dog stops play, Mathews flourishes

Plays of the day from the third ODI between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo

The interruptions
It is common to have dogs running onto Sri Lanka's grounds, but play being stopped twice in an innings due to dog poop has to be rare even here. In the 20th over of the Sri Lanka innings, a dog scampered onto the field and answered nature's call around fine short third man. There was no activity for moments after that apart from some drinks being rushed on. Finally, someone ran in to clean up with a shovel in hand even as the crowd roared. The 48th over brought another canine invasion. This time the crowd roared in anticipation of what could happen, and erupted as soon as the dog did its stuff around deep extra cover. More noise and horn-blowing greeted the arrival of the man with the shovel.

The dismissal-I
The scoreboard registered 'Tillakaratne Dilshan b Zaheer Khan', which will never show how unfortunate the batsman was. Dilshan defended a length ball off the front foot, and trotted out looking for a single, not sure where the ball was. Little did he know it had bounced lazily a couple of times behind him and hit the stumps. Even Zaheer did not know how to celebrate; he just raised his arms and smiled at the bonus.

The dismissal-II
Dinesh Chandimal was struck on the pads for the three balls that he lasted. Twice he escaped, but the third time, he couldn't. The first delivery, by Zaheer Khan, pitched outside leg stump. The second time, Irfan Pathan's delivery was just missing leg stump, The third time, Irfan rapped him plumb in front.

The stroke
Angelo Mathews punished India's bowlers at the death. Even Zaheer Khan, who was tight throughout the day, wasn't spared. In the 48th over, his last, Zaheer speared one in full from round the wicket, trying to cramp Mathews for room. There was point, fine backward point and short third man. Mathews skipped to the leg side, opened the face of the bat, split the gap between backward point and short third man and acknowledged the boundary with a pump of the fist.

The cheek and the retort
In the same Zaheer over, Jeevan Mendis, who had been batting productively, tried a reverse-pull and missed. Now Zaheer may have lost some yards in pace over the years, but the attempted reverse-pull brought out the fast bowler's ego. Zaheer walked slowly towards Mendis, and told him what he thought of the idea. Mendis smiled. Zaheer tried to slip in a yorker next ball, but Mendis took a single off the low full toss to mid-off. As Mendis reached the other end, this time Zaheer had a smile on, with a few more words.

The dismissal-III/The anti-climax
Despite his recent lack of runs, Rohit Sharma is batting the best in the nets among all of us, Gautam Gambhir said before the game. Manoj Tiwary has been sitting out after a match-winning century in December 2011, the critics said. Dropping Rohit will undermine his confidence, Gambhir said. What about Tiwary's confidence, the critics asked? With so much being said for and against Rohit and Tiwary in the build-up to the game, and Rohit being persisted with again, it was natural his performance with the bat would be closely watched. He lasted one ball, caught in front by a searing Lasith Malinga yorker. Tiwary had been bowled for two by a Brett Lee yorker on his India debut in 2008 and had to wait for more than three years for another chance. Whatever you do, don't bet on the same happening to Rohit.

The drop
India had lost centurion Gautam Gambhir three overs earlier. In the 43rd, they needed 65 off 44 with five wickets remaining when Suresh Raina smashed Mathews in the air to extra cover. Sachithra Senanayake, substituting for the injured Kumar Sangakkara, moved to his right but could not hold on. He'd dropped the match there. Raina went on to lead India to victory with an unbeaten 65 off 45.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    Its ridiculous why Rohit Sharma is still in the playing XI.Mr.Rohit, What else would you expect from Malinga, the yorker specialist ? His laziness might have cost his wicket, but what on earth did Tiwari do wrong for not getting a chance ahead of Rohit? Rohit was never a match winner and he never would be. Enough is enough. Give chances to the deserved players. Middle order weakness is haunting Indian team already.

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    Indian team management looks obsessed with Rohit Sharma. Dropping a young player doesn't mean his confidence will be dented (well, by the looks of thngs, first, he hasn't got any confidence at all and secondly, dropping a young player means he needs to sort his shot selection/stance/touch/mental toughness/or whatever is wrong with him before he is picked up again (unless he is told that if you are dropped, you'll lose your confidence and hence won't be selected again!). Umar Akmal was not performing, he was dropped from the test side as a result. As far as I think, his performances after that have actually improved. Sharma played exceptionally well in the IPL, so play him in the next T20 as to give him the maximum oppurtunity to get back in touch.

  • mark on July 29, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    serious-am-i@; pls tel dog to not to answer the natures call next time... this loss of SL is som what similar to WC final. after getting early wiket and later 2 quick wikets SL were unable to put the presure and dry out runs.this is the differnt in current SL team, in the past with slow tracks SL were able to control run flow of oposition significantly aftr taking wikte or two, but now even after geting a wiket run rate wont drop and it continue without much problem.if one chekc the records of past 2year this has been the the past SL were able win matches containing batsmen. Malinga is xpensive though he gets wiket or 2 and his stregnth has rduced due to 2 new balls oprate in ODIs now.certainly Sanga needs to change his batting pace, if he continues playing test type of inings that result only loss match, though SL post some respectable total, but not the win.Sanga needs to increase his strike rate in ODI,othrwis SL shud find attacking player, no point depeding on Sanga anymor

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Nothing to shame,,that's nature. In your country dog's are not doing this, is it?

  • Unni on July 29, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    @Sinhaya.Dont worry man it happens everywhere.Stray dogs always have entry and exit points which dont even exists to others ,then how can you stop them entering a big area like a stadium.The series had a nailbiter atleast ,I was expecting some one sided matches where the team batting first will pile on runs and team batting second will not be in the hunt from the beginning.

  • Aditya on July 29, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Agreed that Rohit has a lean patch, but when did he have a good run? 2 good series against WI is not enough. Let him go back to domestic, score lots of runs there and keep his place there... These 3 matches prove that he does not belong here.

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Its high time people stop fussing about sharma's inclusion. Clearly Gambhir and MSD know more about players and cricket than all of us. Give the guy a break and support MSD. He is going through a lean patch and will be out of it and then the same people will start posting how great he is.

  • Mihil on July 29, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    I mean has dhoni been fined only hope if SL thinks to compete without Sanga. All in all costly series for SL, no kula, no sanga, what's next???

  • sachit on July 29, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    the loss apart, really happy about Jeewan Mendis - with Thisara and him lurking down the batting line up really makes it stronger. Tight game - barring that dropped catch and a poor start, SL played rather well. Expect the series to be a tight one! Good comeback by India btw - though the conditions were much more 'friendlier' for them.

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 20:02 GMT


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