Thatscricket - News - India breathes new life into championship

Published: Saturday, July 28, 2001, 23:07 [IST]
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Bangalore: India on Saturday finally registered its first win in the Coca Cola triangular series to breathe life into the championship. India reached the required target of 184 in the 46th over with seven wickets to spare at the R Premadasa Stadium. V V S Laxman (87 not out) and stand-in skipper Dravid (43) were the corner stones on which India built its innings.With nothing going right so far in the Coca Cola championship, India was desperately looking around for lady luck and I suppose Dravid, in a way, brought about that change in fortune.While it is premature to judge Dravids captaincy with the limited exposure he has had with it, he definitely did his chances no harm in this the sixth and crucial encounter of the on going championship.Captaincy thought apart, what was most satisfying was the way in which the Indians went about their job while chasing. However, one must say that the pressure of runs (run rate) was not there and so they could afford to play out a few unproductive overs.India, actually, won the match in the first session itself when it fielded Sri Lanka out of the match. Unlike in the past when India let things slip at the death after having the opposition down by the neck, it this time finished off the job without much ado. As has been the case so far with Indias opponents, Sri Lanka got off to a bright and solid start but as has also been the case during the middle innings when the spinners have done major damage, India ripped through the Sri Lankan batting order to get itself back into the game. Laxman - supposed to be returning after this match in order to attend to knee problems - was at his fluent best facing up to the Sri Lankan medium pacers, caressing the ball past the packed off-side field. All he did was get in line and give the ball a pat and down it sped to the ropes. And when the spinners were around he went about the job of picking the singles and twos and dotted them with some equally fluent boundaries. His innings of 87 was of high quality and his coming back to form augurs well for India.With this win India has breathed new life into the championships and as Dravid aptly put it if the other teams were to slip up, from here on in, it was right behind to cash in on it as they still stood with a chance.

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