Thatscricket - News - Indian attack gives SL a breather
Published: Monday, July 23, 2001, 0:10 [IST]
Bangalore: The Sri Lankans recovered well, after two mini collapses had them looking at trouble, to post a competitive 221 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday. India, yet again, could pay a price for not going in with a second spinner (genuine) and instead opting for an extra batsman. Whenever Harbhajan put pressure on the Sri Lankans there was nobody to sustain that pressure by bowling a tight length at the other end. Sri Lanka had two collapses of significant proportions but on both occasions managed to wriggle itself out of it. Although, Yuvraj, Sodhi and Sehwag accounted for a few wickets they were expensive, given the context of the situation and also the nature of the wicket. While Harbhajan gave 29 from his 10 over for three wickets Sehwag, Sodhi and Yuvraj went for 104 from a total of 26 overs that they bowled - with Mohanty not impressive either going for 27 of his five overs. However, it could be said that Yuvraj was okay for a fifth blower going for 40 for two from his ten. But India sorely missed a fourth bowler (genuine), who could have made a big difference because Sodhi and Sehwag both went for plenty. For the Sri Lankans, Jayasuriya, early on, played a little cameo to give them a sound start and then later when there was a collapse (the 1st one), Gunawardene and Kaluwitharana put up 82 vital runs to get Sri Lanka back on the rails. However, Sri Lanka was to witness another major collapse when it lost four wickets in a heap. It was at this stage, that India sorely lacked a regular bowler who could have supplemented Harbhajans efforts.But as you may have it, the Sri Lankan pair of Dharmasena and Perera who in the previous game showed that he was no bunny with the bat turned on the heat to put up 49 precious runs in quick time to give Sri Lanka a fighting total.However, 222 is not a daunting target and if the Indians can apply themselves they should be able to make it home. Although, this wicket is on the slower side, run making on this wicket is not as difficult as it turned out to be in Indias first encounter.