Tuesday, October 25, 2005

India Beats Sri Lanka

Sachin, Cricket

India wrap up comprehensive win

India 350 for 6 (Tendulkar 93, Dravid 85*, Pathan 84) beat Sri Lanka 198 (Sangakkara 43, Harbhajan 3-34) by 152 runs

A magical comeback for Sachin Tendulkar, where sparkling strokeplay blended with youthful daring, inspired India to a mammoth total before the spinners taunted the Sri Lankan batsmen and completed a rout in the opening game at Nagpur. In a game that proceeded at a breakneck speed, Irfan Pathan and Rahul Dravid produced crackling 80s to complement Tendulkar's fizz, taking India to an impregnable score and giving them the perfect start to the series.

Chasing 351 was never on the cards but Sangakkara's belligerent riposte created some flutters. Any error in length was dismissed to the advertising hoardings square of the wicket as S Sreesanth, who had a fiery baptism, and Irfan Pathan were dismissed with supple wrists. Flicking with ease and dancing down the track to the medium-pacers, Sangakkara appeared to be having a joyous tennis session, unleashing powerful forehands and rasping cross-court passes.

The mighty strikes by Vaas and Dilhara Lokuhettige towards the end of the day came long after the deck was burnt and Sri Lanka will travel to Mohali knowing that when playing India, the favourite's tag, which they still retain, can easily be wrenched away when one little man is turning on the heat.

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