Sri Lanka v India, Only T20I, Pallekele August 7, 2012

The slog and the deft touch

Plays of the day from the only T20I between Sri Lanka and India in Pallekele

The field change

Ashok Dinda was almost about to start in his run up to bowl the second delivery of the 18th over when he asked MS Dhoni to move fine leg into the circle. Consequently, Virat Kohli jogged back from mid-off to long-off. Dinda hurled it in full to Dinesh Chandimal who mistimed a heave for Kohli to move a few paces to his right and take the catch. Dinda punched the air, delighted his move had paid off.

The slog(s)

Twenty20 reduces even an opener, and a pretty good one, into a slogger. Gautam Gambhir swung at his third delivery, but escaped as he was dropped at deep square leg. He swung at another one, but mistimed it to mid-on. The third time, he did not connect. The fourth time, he missed again and was bowled.

The stroke(s)

You could make out what kind of form Virat Kohli is in the way he dealt with the first ball Lasith Malinga bowled to him. It was a typical Malinga ball, low trajectory, full and swinging away just outside off stump. Kohli crouched low, bent his knees, stayed in the crease, and guided it with the swing to the deep backward point rope.

Mahela Jayawardene is a master at deft touches. The first ball of Umesh Yadav's second over was similar to the delivery Malinga bowled to Kohli. Jayawardene tackled it just like Kohli had; in fact, he ran it even finer, past the slip to the third-man rope.

The celebration

Dhoni is not given to being expressive at the fall of a wicket. But when Thisara Perera was given run-out by the third umpire off a Manoj Tiwary direct hit, Dhoni celebrated in peculiar fashion. He smiled broadly, and trotted over extravagantly towards Tiwary, taking small steps and swinging his arms all the time. The act was played a couple of times on the giant screen at the ground, and the crowd loved it.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • A on August 8, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    T20 does not equal cricket. Turns great stroke makers into millionaire sloggers in a benefit match, turns crafty spin bowlers into slow pace bowlers with a million variations (none of which actually work), and turns pace bowlers into spin bowlers who bowl yorkers. And yet you all flock to the game for another meaningless, empty display of nothing which is all quickly forgotten the second the stadium gates swing shut.

  • Manesh on August 8, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    hope SL fans will come-up with some logical arguments next time. They reminded the Indians about the 8-0 test defeats before the series (even if it is an ODI series!). But they forgot that their team is not Eng or Aus, the pitches are similar to Indian conditions. Next time consider all facts before you come-up with an argument!

  • Ravindra on August 8, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    Dhoni might be watching Olympics ...Walking competition...He tried to do the same when he celebrated the runout

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2012, 23:13 GMT

    SL fans before the series said it will be 5-0 SL. Also many SL players including the great Sangakkara (during CB series) were shouting loud that India could beat SL only in India. As a matter of fact, gone are those Ranatunga days. India had the better of SL all over the place except in an Asia cup in Bangladesh. Even in SL, 4-1 is a familiar series ending for India in the last few years since Dhoni's captaincy. Will these Srilankans stop talking and perform?

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    Well played india. The moves paid off this time. India were in a very good position and could have scored some more runs. The sri lankan bowlers bowled pretty well in the middle overs. Full credit to them. Indian bowlers also deserve a pat . Kohli bowled well so did irfan. Umesh yadav was not upto the mark today. Anyways a win is a win. The most amazing part of the match was prize distribution. The awards just kept coming and coming. But what intrigued me most was the car which was not awarded to anyone.

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    Excellent played India.Irfan is going to be a good all-rounder.Now,we can say that Indian bowlers can take 10 wickets even in T20.But batsmans need to score more because 155 is not a good target to defend.

  • Sai on August 7, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    Yes, that's true. T20 does bring out the bad in any player, and Gambhir should not have played such a shot. Loved Kohli's innings, all those boundaries at the beginning were fantastic. He is a class act, and just getting better and better. Sri Lanka once again are no match for India, even at home!! Let's go INDIA!

  • Munaf on August 7, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    So much so for SL fans caliming it will be 5-0 whitewash of India. Final Tally 5-1 to India. Well but then thats been the scoreline more or less most of times in last decade

  • Axe on August 7, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Mahela, Kohli, Gauti, Amla, Sanga ..These are all class players, who depend mainly on their timing not power (unlike Gayle, Pollard, Afridi, Y. Pathan, Dhoni for whom POWER is their major weapon etc..) These classy players will score lot of runs when they play their natural game but when they slog they look ordinary.

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    I can't believe Gautam Gambhir tried to slog the ball 4 times! That is so unlike him! I think he got caught up with the whole idea that you have to hit big in T20 cricket. He's an incredible batsman and I'm sure that he'll never make that mistake again. You learn from your mistakes after all.

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