Updated: November 7, 2014 5:32:08 pm
Having lost the first ODI by a massive margin the Sri Lankans were looking to make amends in the second ODI at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad. There was some fight, but it was not good enough for the islanders to level the series. They instead trail 0-2 now.
Toss turns wrong: Angelo Mathews won the toss, and without any hesitation, elected to bat first. Very little did he think about the impact of dew later in the day. Not only did the Lankans score a par score, but found life difficult with the wet ball. For any team to taste success in dew-heavy conditions, it is important that if you bat first, you bat big. Bowling in these conditions, especially when there’s a spinner in the ranks, becomes difficult.
Ishant as usual: After an impressive show in Cuttack much was expected of Ishant Sharma.The lanky pacer seemed to have taken the advice of ‘hit the pitch hard’ a little too seriously and had nothing on show but for a couple of falls on the pitch due to his rather bizarre follow-through. He went wicket-less in the match returning figures of 0-58 in his 10 overs. Though the Motera pitch was not as seam-friendly as the one in Cuttack , Umesh Yadav showed that with a few extra yards of pace something could be extracted off this track too.
Left is new right: Axar Patel seemed to be giving stiff competition to Ravindra Jadeja as the Gujarat all-rounder yet again out-bowled his Saurashtra counterpart. Axar was clearly India’s best bowler in the game picking up two wickets at a paltry economy of 3.90 per over. He also maintained a much tighter line and bowled just short of a good length, restricting the batsmen from getting under the deliveries.
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Gamage’s damage: The young fast bowler from Mardana seemed Sri Lanka’s best bet with the ball as he bowled good tight spells and kept the fiery Dhawan quiet at the start of the innings. Gamage bettered his previous match’s figures by containing the run flow but couldn’t add to the wickets column in this game. One also wonders why he didn’t bowl his full quota of 10 overs.
Leading act: The Sri Lankan skipper remained the highest run-getter in ODIs this year, but surprisingly enough didn’t have a single 100 to his name. His 90-run partnership with Sanga was the one that steadied the Lankan ship after the fall of Mahela and Dilshan in quick succession. Mathews could have lead Sri Lanka to a total closer to 300 had he been given more of the strike, instead he was losing partners at the opposite end. He ended up with 92*(101) and helped SL post a par score on this ground.
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