Then ninth world cup over-shadowed by the murder of Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer saw its first crucial encounter between India and on 23rd March, 2007. This match had a significant importance for India, as she had lost to Bangladesh in the group match ignominiously and had to win this one in order to proceed to Super 8 round of world cup.
But to the utter agony and dismay of billions of Indian fans, India proved to be a sand wall in front of the Lankan’s formidable storm. Sri Lanka played their natural aggressive and dominant cricket and beat India in all facets of the game. Their batting, bowling and fielding was spot-on from the word Go.
India won the toss and put Sri Lanka in batting to face the expected music produced by Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, Ajeet Agarkar and Harbhajan Singh. They did tuned the bowling well earlier on by getting rid of the dangerous twin Jays, J’Suriya and skipper J’wardenay and bowled some awesome deliveries. On a competitive track, Srilanka never bowed to the difficult conditions and despite of losing wickets regularly carried on with their careful yet slowly-exploding dynamite batting.
Newly appeared star opener, Tharanga precariously made 64 and Silva and Dilshan crafted their innings with intellect and elegance. After the exit of Srilankan middle order, once again the veteran Russell Arnold and Chaminda Vaas chipped in to hammer away some brilliant shots and both remained unbeaten after hitting 19 runs each in no time. On a testing track, when after 50 overs, Lankans finished their performance with the bat, Indian were looking at the target of 255 with apprehension.
Port-of-Spain was expecting a good run chase by the redoubtable Indian batting, but sadly enough for billions of Indian fans, that was not the case. House of cards would appropriately describe one of best considered batting line-up in modern day cricket. Chaminda Vaas, Muthiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga thundered out Indian batting and blew them in the air while they were 69 runs short of their target. Indian hopes to win world cup also lost in the resulting smoke from the chita. Coupled with spineless Indian batting and magician Sri Lankan bowling, the match proved to be a heart-sinking saga for commercial favourites of this event.
Robin Uthappa(18), Saurav Ganguly(7) and Sachin Tendulkar(0) went back to pavillion cheaply and meekly. Most of the Indian fans went gloomy after Sachin’s departure on duck. Virender Sehwag stood out their defiantly and scored flashy 48 runs on just 46 balls, which included 5 fours and 1 grand sixer. He kept the hope alive for India until the voodoo master Muttiah Muralitharan completely deceived him with a delivery which pitched on off and turned away and went straight to Mahela Jayawardene in slip position. Yuvraj Singh’s (6) run out was the reminiscent of the former Pakistani skipper Inzamam.
Mr. Dependable Rahul Dravid toiled at the crease, suffered a ominous hamstring, watched wickets falling all around him haplessly and then succumbed to Jayasuriya’s ball which flew over to Muralitharan. Dravid posted 60 runs, but they would be equivalent to less than 0, if India doesnt reach to super 8, but for that to happen, Bermuda has to play out of their skins to beat Bangladeshi tigers.More on:Ajeet Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, India, Mahela Jayawardene, Munaf Patel, Muttiah Muralitharan, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka, World Cup, Zaheer Khan
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Sunday, March 25th, 2007 and is filed under World Cup 2007.
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