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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

India on verge of test win - Kanpur third day

Sreesanth - what can one say about him? He must be eyeing the Bollywood in his sparetime for his comeback has been nothing short of sensational. He was given the last warning from BCCI, remember? His state team made him a captain and then warned him again. He mentioned that it was a new start. All this and now what? A comeback test that gave him a clutch of wickets. His temper was in control and the first session saw a good spell of bowling from him. As is his wont, he mixed some superb balls with wayward giveaways. But, when he pitched the ball up, he reaped benefits. The overnight batsmen got out soon and the pressure started building on the Lankans.

Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene looked like they had come to terms with the wicket but strange shot-selections from both put SriLanka in further trouble. The pressure was always on the batsmen and the score also played its own tricks on the mind of the Lankans. The long tail meant that Prasanna had to repeat his first test heroics with Mahela. Try they did but after a sixty-run partnership, the team collapsed further.

Good bowling by all the bowlers on view from the Indian side. The fact that MS Dhoni started his spin with Ojha showed the amount of confidence he had with the debutant. Ojha bowled well and showed glimpses of promise that needs to be fine-tuned by the right experts to become a good end-product. Zaheer and Harbhajan gave support to Sreesanth and Ojha. The fact that Ojha bowled 12 maidens in his 21 overs which is more than what SriLanka could bowl in the entire Indian innings is proof to two things - one, the Indians bowled better and more importantly, the pitch had started to help them.

India wrapped up the Lankan innings just after tea and enforced the follow-on. MSD might have thought about the fact that his bowlers could possibly be on the field for more than 2 days. This happened in the first test also and a strong rearguard action from the Lankans could keep them longer. The first innings lasted around 90 overs and that would have given the captain enough confidence to ask the Lankans to bat.

Dilshan failed once again, thanks to a great ball from who else, Sreesanth. This ball showed that the first innings performance had given him enough confidence to bowl the way he used to be famous for. Then, there followed a lull before Sehwag was introduced in a master-stroke by MSD. The performance by Sehwag with the ball in the match against South Africa must have come to MSD's mind and he expected a breakthrough. That is exactly what Sehwag did!!! In the last hour, poor calling meant that Marathon Mahela returned early to the pavilion. This affected the concentration of Sangakkara in the very next over. The fall of four wickets and the long tail meant that the SriLankan team was in danger of getting out very cheaply in the second innings.

Overall, a good performance by the Indians on the field, helped in no small dose by the pressure exerted by the big score. The session-dashboard still shows only half-point earned by the Lankans during a brief run of play on the 2nd day. There is a very high chance that this match will be over by lunch-time tomorrow.

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