1st ODI, Rajkot, Dec 15 2009, Sri Lanka tour of India
(50 ov, target 415)411/8
India won by 3 runs
Player Of The Match
146 (102)
end of over 507 runs • 1 wicket
SL: 411/8CRR: 8.22 
Nuwan Kulasekara2 (2)
Chanaka Welegedara1 (1)
Ashish Nehra 10-0-81-1
Zaheer Khan 10-0-88-0

And the gem to finish this match with. Ravi Shastri to Virender Sehwag: "You are usually a chilled out character. But with the last over going on, and you sitting above [since he was injured and off the field], were you a bit tense?"

Sehwag: "Not at all. I was actually supporting Sri Lanka. My superstition is that whenever I support India, they lose. So I was supporting Sri Lanka." Sparing a thought for Dilshan and Sangakkara, I say Hail Sehwag and okay bye.


Virender Sehwag gets the Man of the Match award. I would have had Dilshan and Sehwag share it, or even Harbhajan Singh take it alone. But it's the batsmen and the winners that often tell the history. Says Sehwag: "I am in good form. I scored 200 in Tests, 50 in T20, I was telling myself I am in good form I have to utilise it. We [me and Sachin] were aiming for 350 to begin with, but MS played really well and raised the bar. In Test matches I score big hundreds, but in ODIs I get out in 30s and 40s, so this is good time to convert them into big hundreds."

MS Dhoni: "It's quite tough to be cool when you score 400 and almost lose it. First 35 overs we were not really up to the mark, maybe we just accepted that the wicket had got better, maybe we were not focusses. But the way we bowled and fielded after that was awesome. Also we could have scored 450, which would have been an 'above-par' score. Catches, of course, if you don't take offerings from set batsmen you are going to be in trouble."

Kumar Sangakkara: "It is actually worse when you come this close and lose and rather than lose easily. Most of the time you can roll over and die chasing over 400, but we almost made. After 35 overs, we should have batted smartly, India held their nerve better than us. At the end of the day, you have to acknowledge that India played better than us - slightly."

India are thrilled, Sri Lanka are gutted. Forget that there was no contest between the bat and the ball but for the last 10 overs, these two teams fought hard. One hundred and four boundaries hit, 825 runs scored, and only three runs separate them. Spare a thought for Dilshan, Sanga and Tharanga, who - under the pressure of a huge chase - played such magnificent knocks. Celebrate the innings from Sehwag, Tendulkar and Dhoni, the spin bowling from Harbhajan, and the death bowling from Zaheer and Nehra. But also remember that this was a substandard international pitch and a small ground.

Nehra to Kulasekara, 1 run

and Nehra holds his nerves. Bowls another low fulltoss outside off, he can't get under it, and gets just a single to long-off

Kula on strike. Five to win. Four to tie. Nehra's wife watching in the crowd.

Nehra to Welegedara, 1 run

thick edge to a yorker outside off, and the third man is straight, smart thinking from Dhoni

Nehra to Angelo Mathews, OUT

and Tendulkar has held onto the most important catch of the match. The first hittable delivery of the over, a low fulltoss, Mathews gets under it, but doesn't get enough elevation and Tendulkar holds on to a simple catch at midwicket. Crowd goes wild, SL dressing room is stunned

Angelo Mathews c Tendulkar b Nehra 38 (50m 33b 2x4 0x6) SR: 115.15
Nehra to Angelo Mathews, 2 runs

another yorker, another good piece of running, Kula just scampers back to the danger end, and it has gone straight to long-on, who goes for the keeper's end, but Mathews is running between the the throw and the keeper

Nehra to Angelo Mathews, 2 runs

another yorker, driven wide of long-off, Kohli does well to get there quick, but then gets a bad bounce, which results in a fumble, which results in two

Nehra to Kulasekara, 1 run

Kulasekara does his job, gets a single off a length ball to cover and brings Mathews on strike

So it has come down to this, the last over. Eleven required after 818 runs have been scored already. No T20 will give you this build-up and this excitement. What a spell of play this has been. Nehra and Zak have been special with their yorkers, and not until long ago Mathews and Kandamby were up to the challenge. Kula to face now. Nehra to bowl

end of over 494 runs • 2 wickets
SL: 404/7CRR: 8.24 RRR: 11.00
Angelo Mathews34 (30)
Zaheer Khan 10-0-88-0
Ashish Nehra 9-0-74-0
Khan to Thilan Samaraweera, OUT

and he finishes with another yorker and another run-out and what's more, the new batsman will be on strike. Samaraweere manages to dig out the yorker, but it's hit straight to Raina at extra cover, Zaheer is back to collect the throw, which is on the top of the stumps, and another wicket goes down

Thilan Samaraweera run out (Raina/Kumar) 0 (4m 1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0

Samaraweera to face for the first time

Khan to Angelo Mathews, 1 run

yorker again, he will gets just a single to extra cover

Khan to Angelo Mathews, 2 runs

good shot, driven square of the wicket, beats point, goes square of third man, gets two

Khan to Angelo Mathews, no run

yorker across Mathews, he misses, and the crowd goes berserk. It may as well have been a wicket

Khan to Kandamby, OUT

have they got a run-out here? superb collection on a half-volley from Zaheer and Kandamby is gone. It is a short ball, pulled to Tendulkar at midwicket, he is already on the back foot and comes through for one. The lands in front of the stumps but on a half-volley, Zaheer collects cleanly and disturbs the stumps, with Kandamby running casually - not diving, not sliding the bat. Did somebody say Ranatunga?

Thilina Kandamby run out (Tendulkar/Khan) 24 (47m 25b 2x4 0x6) SR: 96
Khan to Angelo Mathews, 1 run

one of the few length balls from these left-armers in these final few overs, Mathews gets under it, and drives to sweeper-cover