Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sangakkara Leads Sri Lanka To Twenty20 Victory

Sangakkara Leads Sri Lanka To Twenty20 VictorySri Lanka 215-5 (Sangakkara 78) beat India 186-9 (Gambhir 55, Jayasuriya 2-19) by 29 runs.

Kumar Sangakkara thumped 78 in 37 balls as Sri Lanka charged to a 29-run win over India in the opening Twenty20 International in Nagpur.

Sangakkara's brilliant innings helped his side score 215 for five before India hit 186 for nine in reply, Gautam Gambhir top scoring with 55 before their innings fell away dramatically.

The ICC may rate India as the world's best Test team but the way in which Sri Lanka played suggested that they don't rate their Twenty20 attack too much and India conceded more runs than they had ever done before which was no more than they deserved given a truly appalling fielding display.

Onlookers can be forgiven for losing count of the chances put down and sloppy misfields that gave Sri Lanka extra runs but Sangakkara was in outstanding touch, hitting 11 fours and two sixes and he was backed up by innings of 47 in 20 balls from Chamara Kapugedera and 34 in 33 balls from Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Both Dilshan and Jayasuriya (26) were dropped early on before debutant Ashok Dinda had the latter caught, but only just, at third man by Ishant Sharma, who was responsible for putting down Dilshan, having at least five attempts at a caught and bowled that was grassed.

Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene (9) were bowled by Rohit Sharma and Yusuf Pathan respectively and after Sangakkara pulled out all the strokes with brutal drives, powerful reverse sweeps and some delicate touches, he was run out from the final ball of the innings.

India got off to a wonderful start with Virender Sehwag thumping 26 in 14 balls and the fluent Gambhir 55 in just 26 deliveries, bringing up his 50 in 19 balls, the second quickest in history.

However, after he was bowled by Angelo Mathews with the score on 93, India went into freefall, losing five wickets in 22 balls and whereas India were a shambles in the field, Sri Lanka were assured, taking the chances that mattered as Mahendra Singh Dhoni (9), Yuvraj Singh (6), Rohit Sharma (3), Yusuf Pathan (0) and Suresh Raina (21) swiftly joined Gambhir and Sehwag in the pavilion.

Some lusty blows from Dinda (19) and Ashish Nehra (22) never seriously threatened to get India back into the game but they might have done had they performed better in the field. Sanath Jayasuriya and Mathews both returned two wickets.

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