Sehwag, pacers power India into tri-series final
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla
Scorecard:India v New Zealand
Player:V Sehwag, I Sharma, MM Patel, A Nehra, P Kumar, KD Mills
Event:Sri Lanka Tri Series 2010

DateLine: 25th August 2010


India and New Zealand were playing for the final spot in the final to meet the Lankans and it was sure that both the sides would turn up charged for the contest. For the first half of the encounter it was New Zealand who were upto the occasion. It seemed that the Indians would be returning home early. But once the second half of the encounter got underway the Indians took charge of the contest with a brilliant performance and storm into the final.


India for the first time in the recent memory went in with four regular pacemen and one spinner who is considered to be a bowling all-rounder.


In a virtual semi-final of sorts for both the sides, MS Dhoni won his second toss of the tri-series and elected to bat first. But barring Sehwag none of the batsmen returned that favour to their skipper. The top and the middle order was wiped aside with ease by the Kiwi pacemen as after 13 overs the Indian side was reeling at 66 for 4 with only Sehwag standing alone. It seemed that the match would be a repeat of the Lankan encounter but once Dhoni came in the complexion of the match changed. The pair's first aim was to steady the innings but Sehwag counterattacked as it was the only way he plays.


The demolisher from Delhi was in such a ruthless mood that even when he was dismissed after a well-deserved century he had scored around 63 percent of the run. The right-hander never let go of a scoring opportunity when it presented itself to him. Runs flowed at a steady pace when he was at steady pace when he was in the middle while Dhoni played a slow innings. The Indian skipper was happy to just rotate the strike and must have waited for the death overs to commence to bring out his famous big hitting to the fore.


But that stage never arrived as once Sehwag was dismissed the rest of the wickets fell like nine pins. The lower order failed to build on the platform set by Sehwag as the batsmen played some of the most atrocious shots one would witness. Still India was able to get across the 200 run mark which at one stage looked impossible. Indians were finally dismissed for 223 in 46.3 overs.


A score of 224 would always test the batting side as it is a tricky score especially under lights. The ball would jag around alarmingly and India just had the bowlers to exploit those conditions. Praveen Kumar and Ashish Nehra were impeccable as the duo troubled the Kiwi batsmen with swing, seam and pace. The duo were all over the Kiwi batsmen as they failed to understand what hit them. Wickets tumbled at a pace even quicker than the runs they scored. The move to go in with four pacers worked as they never really took the foot off the throat of the New Zealanders.


Once Praveen and Nehra were given their due break Ishant Sharma and Munaf Patel took over admirably. The duo never really released any pressure and the Kiwis crumbled in the face of some unrelenting top-notch bowling. With the top and the middle order in dust lower-order batsman Kyle Mills went berserk. The right-hander clubbed some huge sixes as the Kiwis crossed the hundred run mark.