Once again, cricket proved why it is such a great leveller! Just days after India posted a competitive total of 307, they were bowled out for 138 on blustery afternoon in Hambantota in Srilanka.
Batting first again, it looked like India were just carrying on from where they left on Saturday. Debutant Isusru Udana’s first over comprised of 11 deliveries, giving away 16 runs. In the first three overs, India put on 31 and were looking all set to register another mammoth total when Thisara Perera(3-19) turned the tables. He made the ball do something off the pitch and troubled every Indian batsmen. Neglecting the openers, the scores of the middle order batsmen formed a nice phone number. Accurate bowling led to faulty shot selections and the Srilankan bowlers waited patiently to earn their reward. Perera was ably accompanied by Angelo Mathews(3-14) whose stature at the international level keeps increasing day by day.
Watching his team crumble from the other end was Gautam Gambhir who provided some resistance. His hard fought 65, which went in vain, but would still be seen as a gutsy innings. His wicket was the last one to fall which tells us how bad the day was for the batsmen!
When the chase began, it was always a one sided match. If India had to make a match out of this, they needed atleast 3 wickets at the top. What resulted was a 100 run partnership from the openers which was sufficient to knock India out of the game. The petite score of 138 was achieved in 20 overs by the Srilankan batsmen as they stamped their authority.
Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma keeps being flooded with opportunities. There is no doubt about that the talent that he possesses but he has to make it count. He is standing in the way of Manoj Tiwary who scored a hundred in last outing and Ajinkya Rahane, who was the find of the IPL.