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Welcome back to the run-chase folks!
…THE RUN CHASE…
A target of 216 on a superb batting wicket for India. They should chase it down with ease but in cricket, anything can happen. There is some assistance for the spinners and Sri Lanka have the likes of Wanindu Hasaranga and Dunith Wellalage to make use of it. Early wickets will be the key for them. Let’s see if they present any fight. Do join us in a short while.
Mohammed Siraj (5.4-0-30-3) says that the wicket did not have much pace at the start and he was trying to bowl stump-to-stump as there was no swing. Mentions that he was just trying to keep the pressure on. Tells that he was talking to KL Rahul and he said that there was not much swing after the first over and that’s why Siraj attempted to bowl with a scrambled seam. Feels that it is a batting wicket and Kuldeep bowled an extraordinary spell. States that the Indian batters just need to keep it simple to chase this total down.
The only change that India made for this game was replacing the unfit Yuzvendra Chahal with Kuldeep Yadav and he grabbed the chance with open arms. He bowled with a lot of control and skills, and his execution of plans was brilliant. The other bowlers also rallied around him and the likes of Umran Malik and Mohammed Siraj were again among the wickets.
The start from Sri Lanka was decent as they batted out Powerplay 1 by losing only one wicket and managed to put 51 runs on the board. Debutant Nuwanidu Fernando and Kusal Mendis formed a partnership and the former impressed everyone with his calm and composed knock. At the first Drinks break, the visitors looked in control and would have been dreaming of a score in excess of 300 but Kuldeep Yadav came out of syllabus for them. The magical wrist spinner created havoc and ran through the middle order in a jiffy. From 102 for 1, Sri Lanka collapsed to 126 for 6. The lower order contributed a few handy runs, taking the score above 200 but failed to last the distance.
A dominant bowling show from India on a batting-friendly surface. They will be immensely pleased with their efforts on the field – bundling out the opposition for a paltry score inside 40 overs. The crowd has loved the entire action thus far and is roaring as the Men in Blue walk off the field.
39.4 overs (0 Run) OUT! KNOCKED HIM OVER! Siraj wraps it up in a matter of four deliveries and finishes with three wickets as Sri Lanka have been bowled out for 215! This is full and straight on middle. Lahiru Kumara tries to drive it without much footwork and gets an inside edge. The ball brushes his pads and knocks over the stumps. This has been a poor batting effort from the Lankans and the Indian team along with its fans is a happy lot.
39.3 overs (0 Run) Back of a length, around off. Lahiru Kumara fends it towards the off side.
Lahiru Kumara is the last batter.
39.2 overs (0 Run) OUT! CAUGHT! Gone this time! A handy knock from the young man but Siraj has the last laugh after getting hit for a six on the first ball. This is on a shortish length and outside off, angling across the left-hander. Dunith Wellalage punches it off the outside half of his blade but straight to point where Axar Patel takes yet another sharp catch. Nine down now!
39.1 overs (6 Runs) SIX! Siraj has been greeted with a maximum here by young Dunith Wellalage! This is short and on off. Dunith Wellalage looks awkward as he pulls it but gets enough bat on it to hit it over deep mid-wicket for a maximum.
Mohammed Siraj comes back into the attack. 5-0-24-1 are his figures so far.
38.6 overs (0 Run) Back of a length, on off. Kasun Rajitha stays outside the line of the ball and punches it off the outside half of his blade to the point fielder.
38.5 overs (1 Run) Back of a length and around off. Dunith Wellalage steers it towards third man for a single.
38.4 overs (0 Run) Shortish delivery, around off at 133.5 kph. Dunith Wellalage goes for the pull shot but misses it completely.
38.4 overs (1 Run) WIDE! Bangs it short on middle. It is too high though and Dunith Wellalage ducks under it. The umpire calls it wide.
38.3 overs (1 Run) On a length and outside off. Kasun Rajitha slashes it to deep backward point for a single.
38.2 overs (0 Run) Beaten again! Back of a length and outside off. Kasun Rajitha tries to punch it towards the off side without much foot movement and misses it.
38.1 overs (0 Run) A slower length delivery, around off. Kasun Rajitha tries to push it towards the off side but misses.
Change. Hardik Pandya comes back into the attack. 0 for 23 in his 4 overs so far.
37.6 overs (2 Runs) Couple more to end the over! Loopy delivery on middle. Dunith Wellalage paddles it to the fine leg region and comes back for the second run. Kuldeep finishes with 3 for 51 in his 10 overs. Fantastic effort.
37.5 overs (1 Run) Touch shorter and on middle. Kasun Rajitha works it to deep mid-wicket for a single.
37.4 overs (0 Run) Tossed up, around off. Kasun Rajitha fends it off the outside half of his blade towards the off side.
37.3 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! A poor effort this from Pandya! This is fuller and around off. Kasun Rajitha drives it to the left of the long off fielder. Pandya covers the line of the ball but fails to get his hand down in time and the ball goes off his shoes towards the fence. 200 up!
37.2 overs (0 Run) Another loopy delivery, turning into middle. Kasun Rajitha works it towards square leg.
37.1 overs (0 Run) Tossed up nicely on off. Kasun Rajitha drives it off the outside half of his blade to point.
36.6 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Third boundary of the over and Sri Lanka need these runs. On the shorter side and outside off. Dunith Wellalage punches it through the point region and beats the diving effort from Umran Malik in the deep.
36.5 overs (0 Run) Back of a length and outside off. Dunith Wellalage tries to slash it away but misses.
36.4 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! This time an outside edge produces a boundary! Just short of good length, around off. Dunith Wellalage tries to push it but gets an outside edge as the ball straightens after pitching. It runs away towards the third-man fence for a boundary.
36.3 overs (1 Run) A low full toss on off. Kasun Rajitha makes room and drives it to the left of Pandya at mid off. The vice-captain runs to his left, dives full length and stops it. Just a single.
36.2 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! There is value for shots on this ground! Touch shorter and around off. Kasun Rajitha makes room and cuts it through the cover-point region for a boundary.
36.1 overs (1 Run) Back of a length, around off from ’round the wicket. Dunith Wellalage punches it to sweeper cover for a single.
35.6 overs (0 Run) Turning in towards off and a touch fuller. Kasun Rajitha who tries to defend it gets an inside edge past the stumps towards the leg side.
35.5 overs (0 Run) Shorter and on off. Kasun Rajitha pushes it towards the off side from the back foot.
35.4 overs (0 Run) Switches to ’round the wicket and bowls it on off. Kasun Rajitha goes forward and blocks it.
35.3 overs (0 Run) Touch short and on middle. Kasun Rajitha works it to square leg.
35.2 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Good shot! Tosses it up again on leg. Kasun Rajitha gets low and paddles it towards the fine-leg fence for a boundary.
35.1 overs (0 Run) Tossed up on middle and it turns into leg. Kasun Rajitha presses forward and tries to defend it but gets hit on the pads.