It's a nice line for a movie. Not always in cricket. Virender Sehwag, who was in complete control in the middle and had started to indulge himself against the seamers, ran himself out. He whipped a short of a length delivery from well outside off through midwicket and ran two. Speed often kills, greed sometimes kills. He turned for the third run, perhaps thinking Muttiah Muralitharan wasn't going to get his throw quickly to the bowler. Muralitharan relayed the throw to Sanath Jayasuriya standing near the 30-yard circle. The ball reached the bowler Thilan Thushara who broke down the stumps, with Sehwag making a desperate dive at the crease.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni pushed the ball towards long-on and set off for a run. Just a tiny snag in the operation, though. Yusuf Pathan was caught ball-watching and only responded after he realised there was no mid-on in place. Dhoni had a few words to say to Yusuf. Next over, Dhoni called Yusuf again for a quick single. This time, Yusuf responded immediately. He shouldn't have. There was no run in it and he was caught well short of the crease. As he walked off he spit the chewing gum in the air and flayed it with his bat. Wonder if it got stuck on his bat.
It's a nice philosophy that works many a time. Nuwan Kulasekara hit Sachin Tendulkar's pad with an in-cutter and turned around to screech out an appeal. The umpire Brian Jerling was impassive. Kulasekara persisted with the appeal. Tendulkar decided it was time to show his bat to Jerling, indicating an inside edge. Mistake. The umpire showed the fatal finger. The replays didn't reveal any edge but showed that the ball was missing leg stump. Ah well…
Dhoni tried to glance a delivery down the leg side off Farveez Maharoof and the bowler went up in appeal for a catch. He pleaded. Jerling kept quiet. Maharoof was turning red when Jerling asked him to have a look at the batsman. A puzzled Maharoof turned to see that Dhoni had long vacated the scene. A sheepish grin spread across his face when Mahela Jayawardene enveloped him with a bear hug.
Adam Gilchrist once said that the greatest thrill about hitting a six is that the batsman knows that it's a six a fraction of a second before the rest of the stadium knows. Yuvraj would have really appreciated that feeling today. Hitting sixes is not uncommon for him but he swung his nemesis - Ajantha Mendis- over long-off today. He hit Mendis for a six in the previous tour but that was an act of desperation before Mendis swallowed him in the same over with a perfect carom ball. However, today, Yuvraj had pocketed the queen (red) and won that board game.
Ishant Sharma was hit by a nut/stone/unidentified flying object by some nutter in the crowd when he was standing at fine leg in the 24th over. But to blame the crowd for one person's moment of madness would be wrong. They have been a lovely crowd actually, swaying to the tunes belted out by the local band and enjoying the game under the lights. Play was held up for five minutes when Jayawardene went with the umpires to the offending area to pacify the crowd while the Indians got into a huddle near the pitch. Security thickened immediately around the boundary line.
Ishant speared one down the leg side, evading the attempted glance from Thillina Kandamby. Dhoni, perhaps egged on by the appeals when India batted, let out a shout. The thought had to be applauded: Belt out an appeal to escape from a wide. However, umpire Brian Jerling proved a killjoy and extended his arms. Hopefully, in gully cricket, it still works.
The equation for Sri Lanka was 56 from 39 balls when Zaheer Khan yorked Maharoof. It was the perfect yorker that squeezed under the bat and hit leg stump. Well, almost perfect. The bail didn't fall. What's more, the ball proceeded to run away to the fine-leg boundary. A reporter wondered whether the stumps were sponsored by Fevicol. Alas, Maharoof didn't prove too adhesive, though. He fell in the next over, yorked by Ishant, who thanked him as he departed.
Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo