August 18, 2008

Murali and Mendis mesmerize Indians

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India vs Sri Lanka, India in Sri Lanka ODI Series (2008) - 1st ODI
Date: 18 Aug 2008

Murali and Mendis once again did not allow any room for the Indians to escape. The end was delayed thanks to Mahela's approach to hold back Mendis. Finally when he was introduced again, the innings was over.

If you see the scorecard progress from over 25 to over 30, you will understand how dominant the two spinners were. All the five overs were maidens bowled by Mendis and Murali. During this period, Mendis dismissed Dhoni and Murali accounted for Irfan Pathan. The last hope of Pathan rallying with the tail was cut short by an umpiring error. He was given out lbw even though TV replays showed an inside edge. The score of 87/5 at 24.5 overs read 88/7 at the end of 30 overs.

It was upto the tail from over number 30 to 45. They managed to bring the score to 146, thanks to 20-run partnership between Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan and a 29-run partnership for the last wicket between Munaf Patel and Pragyan Ojha. In one over by Murali that cost 14 runs, Ojha hit a four and Munaf Patel cleared the field for a six. But, all those were too little too late.

You cannot expect much when the highest individual score is 23 (by Yuvraj) and the highest partnership is 37 (between Yuvraj and Rohit Sharma). Mendis finished with figures of 3-21 and Murali's bowling analysis read 3-37. It seems the Mendis' mystery is yet to be resolved. Until India finds a way to handle Mendis, they cannot make any impression here in Sri Lanka.

Let us wait and see whether the Indian bowlers can restore some sort of confidence back in the team before the next ODI.


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