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Thursday, September 17, 2009

India wins Compaq Cup - Cricket

Sachin Tendulkar’s century, Harbhajan Singh’s five-wicket haul and the magnitude of the target (320 in 50 overs) ensured that India won the Compaq Cup final against Sri Lanka here on Monday night.

Although India was given a fright by Sri Lanka, M.S. Dhoni’s men had but to hold their nerve; this they managed, and, despite fielding incompetently, dispelled the memory of Saturday’s mortifying defeat.

The memory hovered, however, for much of Sri Lanka’s innings. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya, both of whom are ever open to adventure, began Sri Lanka’s chase in a flurry of boundaries.

Harbhajan, introduced in the eighth over, provided the opening, quickening his pace to puncture Dilshan’s attempted stroke to off. The off-spinner then tricked Mahela Jayawardene in flight to procure a return catch.

When Ashish Nehra, unsteady under the high ball, kept his head to catch Jayasuriya off Yusuf Pathan, India had the whip hand. But Sri Lanka didn’t give up.

Although neither Thilan Thushara nor Angelo Mathews stayed long, Sri Lanka remained close to the required run rate thanks to its start. And with Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Kandamby batting sensibly, the host wasn’t out of it.
Freak dismissal

A freak dismissal appeared to alter matters: Sangakkara lost hold of his bat, which descended in a gentle parabola on the stumps. India had an opportunity to seal the contest, but Yusuf dropped Kandamby (37) off Yuvraj Singh. The left-hander allied again with Chamara Kapugedera, raising 70 for the seventh wicket, heightening India’s anxiety with every run.

But the batsmen couldn’t sustain the partnership. Suresh Raina had Kapugedera caught behind, Harbhajan bowled Kandamby, and India’s breathing grew easy. Harbhajan soon had his fifth: Ajantha Mendis stumped by country mile.

SCOREBOARD

India: (for five wkts. in 50 overs) 319.

Fall of wickets: 1-95 (Dravid), 2-205 (Dhoni), 3-276 (Tendulkar), 4-277 (Yusuf), 5-302 (Raina).

Power Plays: One (overs 1-10): 52/0; Bowling (11-15): 24/0; Batting (35-39): 33/1.

Sri Lanka bowling: Kulasekara 8-0-38-0, Thushara 10-0-71-2, Malinga 10-0-81-1, Mendis 10-0-70-1, Jayasuriya 9-0-43-1, Mathews 3-0-15-0.

Sri Lanka: T. Dilshan b Harbhajan 42 (29b, 9x4), S. Jayasuriya c Nehra b Yusuf 36 (29b, 7x4), M. Jayawardene c & b Harbhajan 1 (5b), K. Sangakkara ht wkt b R.P. Singh 33 (37b), T. Thushara b Ishant 15 (14b, 3x4), A. Mathews c Raina b Yuvraj 14 (11b, 1x4, 1x6), T. Kandamby b Harbhajan 66 (94b, 4x4), C. Kapugedera c Dhoni b Raina 35 (42b, 3x4), N. Kulasekara (not out) 9 (9b, 1x4), L. Malinga c & b Harbhajan 0 (1b), A. Mendis st Dhoni b Harbhajan 7 (10b); Extras: (lb-3, nb-1, w-11) 15; Total; (in 46.4 overs) 273.

Fall of wickets: 1-64 (Dilshan), 2-76 (Jayawardene), 3-85 (Jayasuriya), 4-108 (Thushara), 5-131 (Mathews), 6-182 (Sangakkara), 7-252 (Kapugedera), 8-264 (Kandamby), 9-264 (Malinga).

Power Plays: One (overs 1-10): 79/2; Bowling (11-15): 35/2; Batting (45-46.4): 11/3.

India bowling: Nehra 7-0-43-0, Ishant 7-0-51-1, R.P. Singh 5-0-34-1, Harbhajan 9.4-0-56-5, Yusuf 4-0-36-1, Yuvraj 6-0-24-1, Raina 8-0-26-1.

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