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Rohit Sharma: “It was a smart bowling performance. There was due on the ground and it was not easy for the spinners and the fast bowlers. It was all about taking things where we left against Bangladesh. We bat really deep and have not had a batting lineup like that in a long time. The middle-order haven’t got much of a bat. Credit to Manish and Dinesh.”
“We don’t need to change anything,” he says when asked if he planned to change the lineup for the next game.
Thisara Perera said his team can take heart from this performance but was disappointed with his bowlers’ lengths. Man of the Match Shardul Thakur said he was nervous before the tournament.
INDIA WIN BY SIX WICKETS! They do it with nine balls to spare. At the half-way mark, it certainly looked as though the game would go down to the wire but a serene partnership, one wherein they never stepped out of second gear, helped India get over the line. Heart goes out to Dananjaya, who had given his side a dream start. The bowlers once again stood out for India. Sri Lanka were yet again a let down, in the middle overs and with some of the lengths they deployed; the bowlers were all over the place. It is all to easy for India, who face Bangladesh on Wednesday.
India 153/4 in 17.3 overs The Men in Blue reach home with plenty to spare. Pradeep continues to be erratic, bowling one short and wide followed by a full toss. Both those deliveries were easily put away to the boundary. The 32-year-old finishes things off by milking out a single off a yorker. Easy as you like, even though India were in a spot of bother a few times during the chase.
End of over 17: 144/4 Chameera is brought on and the Lankans can do precious little to stop the singles and the doubles. Karthik then brings the equation in India’s favour with a glorious flick that races to the deep mid-wicket fence. The batsmen then calmly bring up six more runs. This is too easy now and the crowd have slowly started disappearing.
End of over 16: 134/4 More short stuff from Sri Lanka and the boundaries keep on coming. Karthik this time, rocks back and finds the gap behind cover and into the fence. Jeevan Mendis finds better luck when he delivers it slightly fuller and takes the pace off the ball. India are in cruise control, though, at this stage. Yet another nine-run over.
End of over 15: IND 123/4 SIX for Manish Pandey. Thisara Perera made a good start to the over but once again, it was short and begging to be put away. Pandey gives it a good whack and the ball sails over the cow cover boundary. Nine from the over and the Indians now have momentum.
End of over 14: IND 114/4 Dananjaya’s lengths continue be spot on apart from a solitary delivery that was a trifle too short. Karthik missed out out, though. The Sri Lankan’s wrong ‘un, which kept slightly low, continued to trouble the Indian batsmen. Just five runs from the over. India need 39 from the last five.
End of over 13: IND 109/4 Pandey also comes to the party with a beautiful drive to pierce the gap through extra cover and mid-off, four. Minimum risks from the rest of the over as the batsmen are content taking four singles. India need 44 from the last six.
End of over 12: IND 101/4 DK to the rescue! He dispatches the lose ball with a cut that beat the dive of deep cover. The delivery was a trifle short from Jeevan Mendis. Stylish work from Kusal Mendis in the deep helps his side save a couple of runs. Jeevan Mendis bowled a poor delivery outside off stump in the last ball of the over, which went unpunished by Karthik.
End of over 11: IND 92/4 Pace is back on. One more wicket would see Sri Lanka in total command. The pressure is on India here. The Chameera over sees Pandey get a two on either side the wickets. There were three singles too. The Lankans have fought back admirably in the last three overs.
End of over 10: IND 85/4 Jeevan Mendis continues and Rahul and Pandey continue to milk out singles. In the fourth ball of the over, Rahul nearly runs himself out with a tight single – he was saved by his dive and a couple of centimeters of hit bat...and...
OUT! KL Rahul Hit wicket 18 (17)
Oh Rahul, what have you done? The batsman rocks back in his crease and tucks the ball behind square. Keeper Kusal Perera cries in delight and Sri Lanka have another big breakthrough.
Just two runs from the Jeevan Mendis over. KL Rahul becomes the first Indian batsman to be out hit wicket in this format.
End of over 9: IND 83/3 Thisara Perera is greeted by a thumping drive by Rahul through cover. Once again, it was short and wide. Indians take singles during the rest of the over. Eight from it.
End of over 8: IND 75/3 Jeevan Mendis nearly gets on the wickets column as Pandey fails to control a pull shot. The ball, though, whizzed past the mid-wicket fielder. The two Karnataka batsmen put pressure on the Lankan fielders, stealing a brace. Productive over for the Indians, 12 from it.
End of over 7.5: IND 62/3 Nuwan Pradeep is brought on and he also completes the set by straying down leg; it is duly put away by KL Rahul. The pacer commits the same mistake once again, and this time it was against Raina, who hooks it for a SIX.
OUT! Just when the tide of swinging India’s way, Raina makes room to clear the infield. The ball goes only as far as Thisara Perera. The match is back in the balance again but that was careless by the senior Indian pro.
S Raina c Perera b Pradeep 27 (15)
End of over 6: IND 50/2 Raina is making room and attacking the bowlers. He tried clearing the infield against the off-spinner but didn’t get the elevation on the shot. Just four from the over.
End of over 5: IND 46/2 Chameera steams in and delivers a poor half-tracker on leg stump. Raina gleefully flicks the ball away after a slight shuffle to the boundary. Raina then comes close to edging one to the keeper after failing to read Chameera’s length. He was well beaten there. Why take risks, Raina? He then gets into the groove with a four and a SIX.
That was IPL-mode Raina there. Both deliveries were short and aimed at the rib cage. Chameera, though, was never going to get steep bounce from the pitch. Both deliveries landed at a comfortable height for the southpaw.
End of over 4: IND 30/2 Dananjaya’s hat-trick delivery goes horribly wrong and it’s byes for India. Three runs and a wide from it. More drama as Suresh Raina nearly runs himself at the non-striker’s end after being sent back by KL Rahul. Dananjaya nearly gets his third as Raina’s miscues a sweep but Lakmal from deep square-leg can’t reach the ball. One feels he could have done better. India need to be careful. Sri Lanka have their tails up.
OUT! Over 3.1: IND 22/2 Akila Danajaya is the man! The ball does not get the meat of Dhawan’s blade and the ball only goes as far as Thisara Perera, who runs from mid-on to take a safe catch. Sri Lankans are cock-a-hoop
End of over 3: IND 22/1 Dhawan latches on to a poor delivery from Lakmal, who drags it short and wide outside leg stump. The ball races away to the long-leg boundary. The Indians also got five singles from it, two of which came from KL Rahul’s bat.
End of over 2: IND 13/1 What bad form, asks Rohit Sharma as he tonks him for a six and a four in the first over. However, Dananjaya’s spin ties the Indian captain down. OUT! In the last delivery of the over, he tries to get underneath the ball and tries to flick it on the leg side. It goes safely in the hands of Kusal Mendis at mid-wicket. Rohit’s poor run of form, unfortunately, continues.
Rohit Sharma c K Mendis b Dananjaya 11 (7)
Sri Lanka lost six wickets in the last eight overs. They need an outstanding bowling performance to take turn this around. Credit to Thakur and the Indian spinners for stifling the hosts in the middle overs. “We are 20 runs short,” admits Jeevan Mendis.
SL 152/9 from 19 overs There is a bit of a discussion in the middle between the two umpires for a call for Lakmal trying to obstruct the field while going for a run. The Sri Lanka pacer was scampering to the other end as Dinesh Karthik aimed at the stumps. After referring with the third umpire, it was decided that Lakmal didn’t change direction while running.
OUT! Knuckle-ball from Thakur and he scalps another one. Dasun Shanaka goes for a big heave and gets a nick. Karthik takes a safe catch.
OUT! Another one goes. Chameera tries to bash the ball out of the park, gets a top-edge and Unadkat takes a safe catch from short third-man.
Lakmal survives the hat-trick ball, which came off Thakur’s knuckle, inside edge and a single but career-best figures for the Mumbai pacer.
End of over 18: SL 146/7 Unadkat is back into the attack and Shanaka finally breaks the shackles with a short arm-jab, which clears the extra cover fence for a SIX. OUT! Just when it looked like the hosts were having a fruitful over, Akhila Dananjaya’s agricultural pulls lands safely into the palms of KL Rahul at long-on.
A Dananjaya c Rahul b Unadkat 5 (11)
End of over 17: SL 136/6 Welcome boundary for The Lankans as Shanaka gets a nick, the ball runs to the third-man fence for a four. Raina could have had another spectacular catch in the bag. His perfectly timed jump help him reach to the ball but couldn’t hang on to it. Excellent effort nonetheless. Runs, though, continue to be hard to come by otherwise as Thakur continues to use the knuckle-ball with great control. Just seven from it.
End of over 16: SL 129/6 Raina is handed an over and he, in trademark style, runs through with it in no time. The batsmen went against taking him on, choosing to rotate strike. Five singles and a wide from it. The crowd has gone absolutely quiet.
Last 28 balls, 19 runs, wickets | Run rate: 4.07
End of over 15: SL 123/6 That was an excellent over by Chahal, which also yielded in the dismissal of Kusal Mendis. The leg-spinner targeted the good length area and earned a bit of purchase from from the pitch too, outside off stump. Just three from it.
OUT! Over 14.1: SL 120/6 That is three wickets for seven runs. Another tired shot from Kusal Mendis, who chipped the ball straight to cover. Chahal gets his name on the wickets tally
K Mendis c Rohit Sharma b Chahal 55 (38)
End of over 14: SL 120/5 Washington continues to earn heaps of praise from the commentary box. He was a trifle lucky this over to get away with a couple of full tosses. Just three singles from the over.
OUT! End of over 13.2: SL 118/5 That was through the gate and another one bites the dust for the Lankans – their third in as many overs. Washington impresses again, picking up his second and off goes Jeevan Mendis, who was aiming for an booming drive through cover.
End of over 13: SL 117/4 Chahal is brought on for his third over and he starts off by going slightly wide of the crease. Another misfield from Washington Sundar allows the batsmen to sneak through for a couple. There is turn from the wicket too, it was on display during the second ball of the over. Kusal Mendis keeps strike but a fine comeback from the leg-spinner, who gave away just four from the over.
End of over 12: SL 113/4 Thisara Perera is not holding back. He continues to go hard at the bowlers and gets a couple from the first ball. Kusal Mendis then reaches his fifty, which has come from 31 balls, with a tired pull over mid-wicket. The ball fell one bounce in front of Manish Pandey.
OUT! Off goes the danger man and it won’t come as a surprise that Perera disappeared trying to go for another maximum. The ball went into the skies and Chahal at mid-off took an impressive, well-judged catch and tumbled over.
T Perera c Chahal b Thakur 15 (6)
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End of over 11: SL 108/3 A wicket only meant more trouble for India. In came captain Thisara Perera and he cracks two back-to-back sixes. The first one was from a short delivery, which was muscled over deep mid-wicket. The next one is slightly full, and the result is the same. The ball sailed over the sightscreen. 14 from the over
OUT! End of over 10: SL 96/3 Vijay Shankar earns a breakthrough when it mattered, castling Tharanga. The senior batsman was having a hard time getting boundaries and an almighty heave goes awry, the ball hits the stumps.
U Tharanga b Vijay Shankar 22 (24)
End of over 10: SL 94/2 Another SIX and it’s massive. Mendis is causing some damage. Unadkat comes on to bowl his second and the left-armer had mixed it up well, earning three dot balls from the first four. Tharanga continues to be scrappy at the crease.
End of over 9: SL 86/2 Mendis going across the stumps at will is confusing the Indian bowlers. The latest victim is Vijay Shankar. There was some good bit of fielding at fine leg by Thakur, saving a certain boundary. Tharanga then latches onto a full toss, dispatching it to the cover boundary. The senior batsman also does well in calling for a quick double in the last ball of the over. Another good over for the Lankans.
End of over 8: SL 75/2 With the boundaries severely drying up, Tharanga breaks the shackles with a good old-fashioned slog over long on, SIX. The ball easily clears the long on fence. Chahal continues to dart the ball on good length but is forced to change his line somewhat. The leggie then errs badly in the fifth ball of the over, pitching it short, and Mendis heaves the ball many a mile into the deep mid-wicket stands, another SIX. Sri Lanka getting a move on, 17 of the over.
End of over 7: SL 58/2 Vijay Shankar is into the attack and unlike his Tamil Nadu teammate, he takes the pace off the ball and bowls stump-to-stump, forcing the batsmen to muscle the ball as well as improvise. Just five singles come off the over. Intelligent bowling from Shankar.
End of over 6: SL 53/2 Washington continues and Kusal treats him to a gorgeous sweep shot, which trickles into the boundary ropes at fine-leg. Sundar this time responds to the boundary by darting in deliveries at the batsman. Four of those deliveries cross the 100 kmph mark, a ploy that put the batsmen on the back foot. Just three singles from the last five deliveries.
End of over 5: SL 46/2 Chahal is into the attack but the batsmen show better intent than the last over, taking singles before Mendis flicks one past mid-on for a four. Chahal then oversteps but Tharanga can’t get the elevation on the shot, lofting it straight to Thakur’s hands, who takes a safe catch. Ten from the over.
End of over 4: SL 36/1 Washington was tidy, once again sticking to his guns by cutting out pace in the air and not being afraid to toss the ball up. Just two singles in the over, along with a wicket.
OUT! Over 3.1: SL 34/2 Huge breakthrough for India as crowd goes silent. Washington continues to be the menace of the Kusals as the southpaw’s reverse-sweep clips his glove and rolls onto the stumps.
K Perera b Washington Sundar 3 (4)
End of over 3: SL 34/1 Thakur starts off with a wide but came back well. The danger-man, Kusal Perera wastes no time in starting proceedings, slashing hard but luckily for him the ball lands safely. Mendis then shows his cutting prowess, getting a boundary to the third man region, and following it up with a pull shot, which didn’t go the fence because of the heavy outfield. Still, 10 of the over.
OUT! End of over 2.1: SL 25/1 What a catch from Suresh Raina! Turn back the clock and freeze the time. That was vintage Raina as Gunathilaka’s pull shot was plucked out of thin air by the veteran, diving full length to his left.
D Gunathilaka c Raina b Thakur 17 (8)
End of over 2: SL 24/0 The Lankans are not done yet. They want to milk the powerplay overs to the fullest as Gunathilka steps down the track and tonks one back over Washington Sundar’s head for a huge SIX. It was pitched up by the youngster and it got the treatment. Sundar follows that up by reducing the pace on the ball and reading the batsmen’s trigger movement well and only three come off the other five deliveries. Mendis plays out a couple of dots to end the over.
End of over 1: SL 15/0 Five runs off the first ball and six from the second. What a blazing start to the game as the the decibel levels hit the roof at the Premadasa. India were at their sloppy best in the first ball of the game: There was no backup as a throw was flung in at the keeper’s end as Gunathilaka and Mendis scampered for a quick single. The right-hander then showed his class as Unadkat drifts fractionally outside off. One handed hoick over extra cover, and the ball clears the ropes for a SIX. More good cricket by the Lankans as they scurry through for a brace off the fifth ball. There were a couple of singles too. We couldn’t have asked for a better opening.
The teams have made their way to the field. Indians start with a pep talk from their skipper. Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka stride forward to the centre.
Changes: There were little surprise with Rohit’s decision taking into account the relative dampness of the surface following the downpour. KL Rahul has replaced Rishabh Pant. The Lankans replace the suspended Chandimal with Suranga Lakmal.
Toss: India win toss and elect to field. It will be a 19 over-a-side match
Some respite here and we can’t complain. Reports state that the toss will be held at 8.05 pm and the match is scheduled to begin at 8.20 pm. The covers are also being removed.
7:45 pm: There you have it. Further delay and the covers have completely engulfed the pitch. The cut-off time is still two hours away but we are at a stage where overs will be reduced.
7:28 pm: In the meanwhile, here’s Zenia d’Cunha’s take on the India women vs Australia women clash panned out earlier in the day – Bolton’s heroics, Pooja Vastrakar’s world record half-century and more
7:18 pm: More covers brought on, reports ESPNCricinfo. We could have end up with a few grey strands by the time the match ends, if there is one. Still no mention of overs being docked.
7:14 pm: And...the excruciating wait continues. The players are still on the field but the covers are on. More delay. Still no trace of when the officials will start deducting overs.
7:00 pm: “They are terrific covers,” says broadcaster Brett Lee as we crawl past the scheduled start. The trumpets at Colombo are still in full volume.
6: 47 pm: More delay as the drizzle continues in Colombo. The covers are still on but both teams are on the field and are having a bit of a kickabout.
6: 40 pm: The toss will be underway in a bit as the covers are off. The rain has subsided as well and from the looks of it, play will be held on time....hang on, there is another drizzle and the pitched is covered again. What a shame! More delay.
6.20 pm: It’s drizzling at the Premadasa Stadium and the ground has been covered. A delayed start is expected.
Hello and welcome to the live updates of the fourth match of the tournament, once again from Colombo. Things are delicately poised at this stage with all three teams winning and losing a game so far. The Indian side delivered a solid performance against Bangladesh but Rohit Sharma will know that there is a lot of room for improvement, starting with the skipper’s batting form. He is due a big score but his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan has shouldered the batting responsibility with aplomb, bringing up back-to-back fifties so far.
India’s bowling unit were on target against Bangladesh after being taken to the cleaners by an inspired Kusal Perera display. As for Sri Lanka, who are licking their wounds after an inexplicable loss, they need to come up with an improved bowling display. Much would depend on how early they can remove the top-order batsmen. It’s even-stevens so far with the new-look Indian side having a slight edge. The Lankans might make a change or two. Remember, Dinesh Chandimal is suspended for this game. Thisara Perera will take over captaincy duties.