Sri Lanka v India, 5th ODI, Pallekele

Dhoni's redemption and Pathan's reflief

Plays of the day from the fifth ODI between Sri Lanka and India in Pallekele

Abhishek Purohit in Pallekele

August 4, 2012

Comments: 12 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni completes the run out of Lahiru Thirimanne, Sri Lanka v India, 5th ODI, Pallekele, August 4, 2012
MS Dhoni was involved in Lahiru Thirimanne's run out, two balls after he had dropped the batsman © Associated Press
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Dhoni's redemption
MS Dhoni had hurt his left hamstring while batting and struggled throughout with his wicketkeeping later. Lahiru Thirimanne and Jeevan Mendis had revived Sri Lanka's chase when Thirimanne guided Zaheer Khan to Dhoni's left in the 36th over. It wasn't a very difficult take but Dhoni dived clumsily, managed to get only the left glove to the ball, and dropped it. Two balls later, Thirimanne was sent back when he attempted a tight run towards mid-on. Zaheer collected the throw from the fielder, and threw it to the other end where Dhoni charged forward, took the ball, and broke the stumps to run Thirimanne out.

The comedown
Tiwary had been India's best bowler in the previous game with 4 for 61. Thirimanne took just one over to remind him of his part-time status. With two left-handers at the crease, bringing on the legspinner Tiwary was anyway risky. Thirimanne ensured Tiwary did not get away, stepping out to loft him for two big sixes over deep midwicket. That was the only over Tiwary got today.

The punch and the counter
For the first four balls of the 38th over, Lasith Malinga was on fire. He first had Manoj Tiwary fending a bouncer to short third man. The second ball, also short, consumed Suresh Raina. Dhoni somehow managed to keep the hat-trick ball down. The fourth ball pinged Dhoni on the helmet and flew over the keeper. The last two balls were pitched up. And Dhoni immediately counter-attacked, thumping them through the off side for consecutive fours.

The celebration
Irfan Pathan was the allrounder Indian cricket had, then lost, and then regained in a toned-down version. He improved his batting, lost his bowling, went out, and returned claiming to have rediscovered himself. When he bowled Sachithra Senanayake to pick up his fifth wicket off the last ball of his tenth over, there was a mixture of happiness and relief on Irfan's face. He smiled, jumped, raised his arms and looked up at the sky, as if thankful to have been able to come back to the side. Even after the end of the over, as he was walking to his fielding position, he continued to look up heavenwards.

The unusual field setting
When Malinga lofted and drilled Ashok Dinda to the extra cover boundary for consecutive fours, Sri Lanka needed just 21 runs off 28 deliveries with only one wicket remaining. Dhoni pulled fine leg out and put in two extra covers. With fine leg vacant, and the off-side field packed, Malinga tried to hit down the ground, but ended up finding long-off on the edge of the rope. Game over.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by indiatigerscool on (August 7, 2012, 0:56 GMT)

Dhoni is an awesome batsman he has an average of over fifty

Posted by indiatigerscool on (August 6, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

dhoni is awesome average of 51

Posted by   on (August 5, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

Maharashtra quota is filled by Rohit when Sachin is not playing. Now the quota system should end & bring Sachin back. Rohit is a dead wood he cant bat. He is being given long rope because of Sharad Pawar. Sachin should play ODIs or asked to retire.

Posted by   on (August 5, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

WE HAVE WON THE RECENT SERIES AGAINEST SRILANKA ONLY ON BATTING MERITS.OUR BOWLING AS WEAK AS NEVER BEFORE.DURING LAST MATCH OUR BOWLER BOWLED LIKE SCHOOLBOYS,THOUGH IRFAN GETS FIVE BUT MOST OF THE BATSMEN OUT CHASING WAY OUT SIDE DELIVERIES AND THE FEILDING WAS PATHETIC AS EVER.AND LASTLY CAPTAIN COOL"LOVE FORROHIT SHARMA BY PLAYING HIM IN THE ELEVAN FOR DOING NOTHING. IN FACT MANOJTIWARY IS THE FIND OF THE SERIES AND VIRAT KOHLI IS ALLSET TO BE ANOTHER RAHUL DRAVID

Posted by golgoal on (August 5, 2012, 1:19 GMT)

MSD rocks ! Keep going Dhoni bhaiyya and continue bringing great laurels to India. GREATEST INDIAN CAPTAIN EVER.

Posted by Temuzin on (August 5, 2012, 1:01 GMT)

Yup thats why he is captain cool and also best finisher in the game.

Posted by   on (August 4, 2012, 21:36 GMT)

As Said CAPTAIN COOL .... Dhoni rocks

Posted by   on (August 4, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

Dhoni is still a great captain and batsmans, he is defiantly top 3 finishers in odi cricket right now, and gets your extra runs in death overs. Indian team has seemed to improve where Kohli has stayed to play long innings so the middle lower order can finsh the last 15 overs with a high run rate. Dhoni should consider having a different opener with gambir, whether it be ajinka, or moving kohli to opening spot, and bringing sehwag down the order in death over, or tendulkar needs to return!

Posted by   on (August 4, 2012, 19:18 GMT)

Thats why he is Captain Cool. Way to go Mahi !!

Posted by   on (August 4, 2012, 18:54 GMT)

well done india... congrats fot no 2 spot.

Posted by   on (August 4, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

dis performance of pathan will take his confidence 2 a much higher level.....

Posted by   on (August 4, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

THAT IS DHONI FOR YOU.THE CAPTAIN COOL AS HE IS CALLED.

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