The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Sanga ‘ton’– voice in the wilderness

1st ODI at Hambantota

Sanga’s fighting ‘ton’ was simply not enough for Sri Lanka. (Pic by Ranjith Perera)

Kumar Sangakkara’s ‘ton’ was the only consolation for Sri Lanka. Despite putting on two partnerships of 77 runs with Upul Tharanga for the second wicket and 78 runs for the seventh wicket with Thisara Perera, Sangakkara was forced to watch his partners departing at the other end. That culminated in Sri Lanka losing the first of the five limited over encounters by 21 runs at the Sooriyawewa Stadium yesterday.

By the time that Tharanga’s dismissal came the asking rate had gone higher.  This saw Sri Lanka having little chance of making any recovery.Dilshan and Sangakkara were given a life each before they had opened their account but even then Dilshan did not capitalize the opportunity as he lasted only five more balls. In contrast Sangakkara batted with patience and succeeded in chalking up his 14th ODI ton and his fifth against India. There was no significance partnerships coming in the middle with Dinesh Chandimal, skipper Jayawardena, Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne unable to make any useful contributions that could have given a semblance of a victory to Sri Lanka,

The failure of the middle order batting was crucial and by the time Sri Lanka went in to the attack it was going to be too late. Sangakkara and Perera gave the local supporters something to cheer as their entertaining partnership of 78 runs came in just 53 balls. The dismissal of Sangakkara who made a knock of 133 runs that comprised 12 boundaries saw the Sri Lankans going back to square with the remaining three wickets falling for the addition of just 24 runs with the Indians succeeding in restricting their hosts to 293.

Overall it was a successful game for young Thisara Perera who continues to perform to perfection and in this game he had a three wicket haul and followed it up with a knock of 44 and was the only Sri Lanka batsman to hit a six.Earlier Virat Kohli coasted to his third successive ODI ton against Sri Lanka which was his 12th. Sehwag was left off the hook on two occasions the first being dropped by Dilshan before getting off his mark and then when he was on 24 by Kulasekera while Kohli was given a chance when he was 16 which was a tough return catch given to Thisara Perera.

Through these lapses the Indians settled down with Sehwag and Kohli having things their own way posting the first 50 runs in the 12th over.

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