All star of the match

Jadeja turns match India's way

Cricinfo staff
Ravindra Jadeja gets the congratulations on dismissing Nuwan Kulasekara, India v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Cuttack, December 21, 2009

Ravindra Jadeja's team-mates congratulate him on one of his wickets  •  AFP

It hasn't been an easy initiation at the international level for left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Since his debut early this year, he has had some rough days. Today was also looking to a difficult outing, after the Sri Lankans had galloped to 165 for 1 after 22.2 overs.
However, on a pitch providing him a bit of help, Jadeja turned in his career-best figures to walk away with the Man-of-the-Match award. In his opening over itself, he got rid of the set Upul Tharanga, who had slugged his way to 73. Tharanga lost his off bail to a flighted delivery that turned a long way into him.
Things went quiet after that but ten overs later, just as a partnership was developing between Chamara Kapugedera and Thilina Kandamby, Jadeja struck again. It wasn't a great delivery but Kapugedera chased it away from his body and could only inside-edge it onto the stumps.
Four overs after that, Jadeja used the arm ball to great effect, bowling from round the stumps to fox Nuwan Kulasekara, who was late in getting his bat down and was struck in front of middle and leg. There was one more wicket, off his final delivery, when a tossed-up delivery turned enough beat the outside edge and take Ajantha Mendis' offstump.
The four wickets were instrumental in rolling over Sri Lanka for 239, losing their final nine for just 74 runs. At one stage, a total in excess of 300 had looked on the cards, but after Jadeja's intervention it proved to be a far simpler chase.