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ICC Twenty20 Final: The business end

The Sri Lankan bowlers bowled exceptionally well to restrict India to a paltry score of 130/4.

Written by Ankit Sinha |
April 6, 2014 9:45:19 pm
Yuvraj Singh had another off day, as he managed to score only 11 runs off 21 balls. (Reuters) Yuvraj Singh had another off day, as he managed to score only 11 runs off 21 balls. (Reuters)

Over no. 7 was bowled by Sri Lankan spin sensation Rangana Herath, and it started off absurdly as the big fish Virat Kohli was dropped off the very first ball by Malinga. The Sri Lankan skipper, who recently claimed that Kohli could be dismissed by ‘one good ball, was left ruing the dropped chance.

Kohli kept calm and struck a glorious six off the last ball of the over over wide long-off. The ball was struck hard and it cleared the fielder standing near the boundary.

Mathews continued his spell with another tight over and India were left in a spot of bother with the run-rate. Herath, too, maintained a tight line and length in his next over and made sure that the Indian batsmen didn’t score easy runs.

Mathews’ next over, which was his last, brought some respite for India, as Rohit and Kohli took turns to smash the medium-pacer for a four and a six, respectively. The over was the most successful one for India yet, as 14 runs came off it.

Herath continued in the 11th over and dismissed Rohit Sharma off the third ball. Rohit was looking to create room and drive through cover, but unfortunately played it straight into the fielder at short cover.

Yuvraj was the new man in, who faced Senanayake in the 12th over.

Herath continued his spell, as he came on to bowl the 13th over of the innings. Kohli smashed him for a flat six off the very first ball. Nothing could be more demoralizing for a bowler than being struck for a six off the first ball of an over. It was a successful over for India, as 10 runs came off it.

Now it was Captain Malinga’s turn to sling his arm. He kept things tight for the first five balls, but Kohli smashed a four off his last ball, which was pitched full and wide. It was a poor delivery, which deserved to be hit for a boundary.

Senanakaye’s next over yielded just 2 runs, as he managed to keep the big hitter Yuvraj Singh quiet.

Kulasekara’s next over, which was Sri Lanka’s 16th, started off with a bang, as Kohli struck three massive boundaries – one six and two fours – off his first 3 balls.

The momentum again shifted in Sri Lanka’s favour as Senanayake and Malinga bowled brilliantly in the next two overs and managed to restrict the flow of runs. India needed to do a lot better than that in order to post a respectable total.

Kulasekara got the wicket of Yuvraj Singh off his first ball of the penultimate over. Poor shot by Yuvi; he never looked comfortable in his brief stay at the crease.

Now, the skipper came out in the middle, hoping to shift the momentum towards India. Kulasekara maintained a great line and length under pressure and didn’t allow the batsmen to score a single boundary in that over. Brilliant example of how death overs bowling should be executed.

Malinga, the famed death-overs specialist, took the honors to bowl the final over and kept the shackles on the Indian batsmen. Neither Dhoni nor Kohli could do anything to counter Malinga’s nagging line and length.

Kohli was run out on the last ball of the over, as he was trying to convert a single into two runs.

Unfortunately for him and India, only 6 runs came off the 20th over and India finished off their innings with an unimpressive score of 130/4.
The Indian bowlers will have to pull off something extraordinary in order to defend the paltry total.

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