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Thatscricket - News - Yuvrajs brilliance helps India recover

Published: Wednesday, August 1, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Bangalore: Yuvraj (98 not out), Dravid (47) and Sodhi (30) helped India recover from 38 for four to post a fightable 227 in its full complement of 50 overs at the Sinhalese Sports Club in the eighth match of the Coca Cola triangular series. Going into this encounter with a must win situation, India suffered an initial blow when it lost the toss albeit for Ganguly it was a welcome relief to see Jayasuriya insert them in. But soon he found out that he still has a long way to go when it comes to assessing factors state of the pitch and atmospheric conditions.Its not that one cannot win batting first - Sri Lanka showed that on Tuesday - but ones chances of victory are helped that much more by being able to exploit the given conditions on hand.Vaas obliged his captains call when he struck of the very first delivery trapping Sehwag bang in front. To compound matters, getting the ball off the square was so difficult that the first seven runs were of extras courtesy Sri Lanka. Vass again struck in his third over when he sent back the Indian skipper without him making an impact something that is very much in the order of things these days. Ganguly (0) trying to force Vaas through point only succeeded in finding Sangakkara in his way India 7 for two.The Sri Lankan pace attack has definitely come of age and with Fernando, Perera and Zoysa supporting Vaas, things are looking bright for Sri Lanka who, now, seem to have a right balance to its attack. In walked Dravid and executed a superb cover drive to show that it wasnt as bad after all. He and Laxman then got the scored board motoring with some fine shots, scoring at almost five runs per over (the rate of their partnership).When things began looking up Fernando joined the party when he got one to hold its pace a little bit thereby inducing Laxman to play in the air Jaysuriya at mid-off completing a well judged catch with glee written all over his face. India at this stage 31 for three.Badani, who has been having a horrible run after having a promising start to his career, could not last long his lack of confidence displayed in abundance. Badani slashed at a widish delivery without getting his feet anywhere close to the line of the ball and the resultant edge carrying to slips- India 38 for four.Having lost two more wickets Dravid was forced to get cautious in an effort to steady things. Yuvraj, however, to Indias good fortune, got going and started putting up the runs on the board. He in the company of Dravid took India to 117 for four at the end of 31 overs (a partnership of 79 of 105 balls unbroken at this stage).The pair continued to accumulate the runs to bring up the 100-run partnership (100 of 128 balls) Yuvraj in the process posting a much needed 50. At this stage, Sri Lanka looking for a much needed break-through in order to terminate a partnership that was blowing out for proportions found one when Jayasuriya foxed Dravid to be comfortably stumped, bringing an end to a 102-run innings resurrecting partnership. India 140 for five in the 36th over. Yuvraj and Sodhi then went about picking up the ones and two with the aid of some quick running between the wickets to keep up the momentum and build India a reasonable platform for a final assault. Sodhi, however, going for a cheeky run survived a certain run out when Muralitharan muffed up a Jayasuriya return.The pair thrived on the reprieve to pile on some crucial runs for India coming at a fair clip. The pair brought the 50 run partnership in just 56 balls. Sodhi then perished yet again trying to cut Murali but not before he had put up 30 (37 balls) runs against his name and India to 197 for six.Dighe did not last long departing at 200 caught behind of Fernando but Harbhajan walked in and immediately got Fernando to the ropes, then Yuvraj wacked one through the covers to helped India get 12 runs of this the 47th over.Harbhajan departed the next over trying to tonk Murali over mid-wicket to reduce India to 213 for eight in the 48th over - Murali giving away a miserly two runs of his last over. Vaas complemented it with another two-run over to restrict India from piling big runs towards the end. India 216 for eight at the end of the 49th over.The last over yielded a good 11 runs, as Yuvraj took to Fernando to help India to finish off on 227 and take his personal score to 98 not out an agonising two runs short of what would have been a magnificent maiden century. India put up a healthy 70 runs in last 10 overs. Sri Lanka gave away a lot of extras, which helped matters for India 30 in all.

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