India v Sri Lanka, West Indies tri-series, Kingston

Tharanga, Jayawardene cane India

The Report by Sidharth Monga

July 2, 2013

Comments: 305 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka 348 for 1 (Tharanga 174*, Jayawardene 107, Mathews 44*) beat India 187 (Jadeja 49*, Herath 3-37) by 161 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Mahela Jayawardene and Upul Tharanga put on 213 for the opening wicket, India v Sri Lanka, West Indies tri-series, Kingston, July 2, 2013
Mahela Jayawardene and Upul Tharanga put together Sri Lanka's second-best stand against India © AFP
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"Can't seem to win a toss," Angelo Mathews said suggesting he can't catch a break nowadays when Sri Lanka were inserted on a track that has responded to West Indies quicks better than best of butlers. Four hours later, we had the first instance of an innings in a 50-over international ending with just one wicket down. Upul Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardene made a mockery of the teams' suspicion of the damp surface with their 213-run opening, Sri Lanka's second-best stand against India. Under the pressure of the mountain of runs, India huffed and puffed past… Upul Tharanga's score of 174.

This was Jayawardene's first ODI century in two years and 50 innings, but it was Tharanga who claimed an illustrious record en route his highest ODI score. This was the seventh time he was involved in a double-century partnership, joint-highest along with Ricky Ponting. Tharanga's was the third-highest individual score against India; four out of the best five individual efforts against India have come from Sri Lanka. Both, though, benefitted from some generous Indian fielding and bowling: Jayawardene was dropped on 25, Tharanga was missed on 2 and 91.

Generally, too, India - missing the injured MS Dhoni - lacked the edge both with the ball and in the field. Apart from not being able to take wickets, India were pretty loose with the ball. At the death, they kept bowling length, went for at least one boundary in every over since the Powerplay was taken in the 35th over, and conceded 180 in the last 16 overs. Tharanga's acceleration was stark: from 72 off 105 to the eventual 174 off 159.

Captaining India for the first time, Virat Kohli brought in Shami Ahmed ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, a move that will be debated. Bhuvneshwar gave India breakthroughs with the new ball in most of the matches he played, but Shami didn't pose any threat. Another man coming in, M Vijay, dropped Jayawardene.

The Sri Lanka openers gave the pitch the respect the first two low-scoring matches have accorded it, but it was obvious that either the track was much drier or it was the West Indies fast bowlers who exploited the moisture much better. Of the three quicks, only Umesh Yadav extracted some help from the pitch, but he too strayed with his length, allowing Tharanga to play his favourite cut shot often. The innings' first boundary came through that cut. Ishant Sharma, at third man, made an equal contribution by letting the ball through. By then, Rohit Sharma had missed a half chance when he failed to hit the only stump visible from point. Tharanga was only 2 then.

The first five overs brought only 16 runs, but soon the batsmen shed caution. Yadav's pace was used well when lofted over the infield. And Ishant drew no respect. Jayawardene walked down the wicket to loft him over long-on, and in the same over Yadav misfielded at fine leg to return the favour to the bowler.

Ravindra Jadeja was the first to draw a risky approach from Sri Lanka, but Vijay dropped the reverse hit at shortish backward point. Jayawardene rubbed it in when he reversed Jadeja emphatically for a four later, but it was his chips over extra cover off both the spinners that were delightful. Tharanga, meanwhile, was happy to be inconspicuous.

It was perplexing that India introduced R Ashwin in the 20th over, and by then Sri Lanka had reached 90 without much trouble. Jayawardene was 49 off 58 then, and Tharanga 36 off 56. The same trend continued as Jayawardene kept hitting the odd boundary in the middle overs and almost on auto-pilot they had strolled to 168 in 34 overs.

Sri Lanka now asked for the field to come up, and Tharanga opened up. He went after both Ashwin and Ishant, and by the time Jayawardene fell for 107 he was ready to take control. Just before that, he had been dropped by Yadav at third man, again off Ishant. Almost without taking a risk, Tharanga kept getting inside the line and carting the Indian bowlers.

The 49th over, bowled by Yadav, was a complete bowling meltdown. Yadav began with a low full toss, which was sliced for a flat six over point. Then he saw Mathews back away, and bowled five wides. Two fours later, he had conceded 22 to finish with the worst economy rate of the innings. Tharanga was not done yet, and hit another six over extra cover, this time off Shami. Tharanga was so dominant that Mathews scored only 44 off the 135-run stand between them.

Mathews was in his element in the field. He surprised India by taking one of the new balls, and began with the first maiden of the match. Rohit was soon caught at short midwicket, and Mathews didn't allow India any pace to work with. Both the spinners were introduced within the mandatory Powerplay, by the end of which India had only 28 runs. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli fell to that pressure, and M Vijay followed soon. The rest was merely an official stamp on India's biggest defeat after putting a side in.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Tweety20 on (July 3, 2013, 23:44 GMT)

Virat kohli under-estimated SL's ability to perform that's why he preserved Bhuvneshwar Kumar and brought in a Shami Ahmed.

He also put us into Bat first assuming India could easily chase down our scores as always.

I'm not a cricket expert but its simple logic, just put two and two together. (if the reasons are otherwise, please do explain?)

If only he knew what was going to unfold before him.......?

The clever SL's took advantage of India's over confidence and taught them a good lesson for under-estimating them.

And the popular line was: 'India had a bad day' well, they brought it upon themselves. Note: NEVER under-estimate your opponent!!!! GO LIONS......!!!!!!!

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 3, 2013, 22:56 GMT)

@Nampally: There is a history to what I said for you. Right from the Ind-Eng ODI series you have been bringing Pujara in the picture as if you stand to gain some monetary benefit from his presence. Your logic is funny cos Pujara isn't even in the team, hasn't been in the team, IS YET TO DEBUT IN ODIs and you are saying that not only he must be in the team but that PUJARA BE MADE THE CAPTAIN !!! That logic is inherently funny. Some Eng fans talk so highly of Anderson but at least he has played ample matches in all formats. What can I say for you when you so blindly keep talking about Pujara even though he has not played a single ODI so far?

A total of 348 runs by SL where India scored only 187, doesn't say much for our bowling either, so let's bring in Deepak Chahar and make him the captain. Howzzzat haan?

Pujara indeed is a class batsman but unproven in ODIs.

Btw, Kohli was the U19 captain that won the WC, doesn't that count? Jadeja has more FC 300s than Pujara, does that count?

Posted by Tweety20 on (July 3, 2013, 22:45 GMT)

I'm really happy with SL's performance, they need to keep moving with this form&improve on weak areas b'se I still think they need to enhance the potency of their bowling esp. against IND.

For all those Indian fans who call us bashers. They should remember how they respond when SL loses to India.I guess what they say is true ''an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth' sorry Indian fans this time you r on the receiving end.

For those who say that this is just a single win over India by SL in 3 years so SL fans shouldn't get excited. I know that our record is not good against India but it's still is a win & a big one too, no strings attached,you never know, the tables might turn around soon (cricket is unpredictable) so learn to accept defeat graciously.

For those who grade the series. So if India loses, it's a meaningless series & if India wins what do you call it? A walk in the Park? Best series ever?

Note: I'm also against the idea of organizing tournaments with very short intervals

Posted by KARNAWAT33 on (July 3, 2013, 22:45 GMT)

@Mr.Sundar Subramaniam. You claim not to downplay the series, and then you claim that there is no motivation to win this series because nobody will remember the current World Champions as well as Champions Trophy holders getting badly beaten in a triangular series, AWAY FROM HOME. Well, I believe that India may have established it's dominance on SQUARE TURNERS, like in World Cup'2011 and SURPRISINGLY in the Champions Trophy in 'England', but the team AS ALWAYS has to prove itself on green and bouncy wickets. Secondly, India has been on top not more than a couple of years I believe, winning mostly series held at home. India took over from AUSTRALIA, a team which DOMINATED CRICKET FOR 15 YEARS. People feared them and 'remember' them till now, they have established a LEGACY. Alas, if India has to be 'remembered' as a great team, it has to establish it's dominance by winning "these kind of series", or else they will be remembered as "World Champions at HOME", a tag which suits them now.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2013, 22:31 GMT)

sandy_bangalore - "This CLEARLY shows why Gambhir, Yuvraj and Bhajji are needed. These guys have a win at all costs mentality, ....these legends have 1000s of runs and 100s of wickets between them..." Thanks a ton for the brilliant insight. Silly me, I was under the impression that current form and performance are the relevant factors. Hope the selectors are equally impressed with your insightful revelations. Maybe we should be picking Gavaskar and Kapil Dev too - they also have 1000s of runs and 100s of wickets between them.

Posted by Hash_Tag on (July 3, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

@Harmony111 on (July 3, 2013, 14:42 GMT) - you lecturing @Nampally about logic! You don't have any respect for anyone who disagrees with you do you? Come on man this was a very lack-lustre show. Surely with logic as good as yours even you should be able to see it - without MSD the team is a shadow. Kohli is a boy. We cannot win with him in change.

Posted by Nampally on (July 3, 2013, 20:28 GMT)

@Harmony111: A total of 187 on the same pitch where SL got 348 for one wkt. does not say much about the strength of the Indian batting - Does it? If Dhawan & Kohli fail, India relied upon Dhoni & Raina to pull them up. Now that Dhoni is injured & likely to be out for at least 8 weeks, who is the most reliable batsman to hold the batting together? Pujara converted the Indian batting in Tests from "fragile" to a winning one. His batting record speaks for itself. Pujara was being groomed for Captaincy for the past 2 years leading India A in overseas matches. There is a Captaincy + Batsman slot vacated by Dhoni. With no proven candidates available, Pujara is as good a bet as anyone else. Kohli Captained India in 2 ODI's - both losses- with the same team(minus MSD) which had won 7 ODI's in a row! Captaincy also effected Kohli's batting- scored 11 & 2. Pujara with his "Weak legs" already scored 3 Test centuries + 2 triple centuries in Ranji! You say my logic is "Funny"- Have you got Any?

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