Tag Asia Cup 2010
You can't win a cricket match in half a dozen overs, but you sure can lose it..
40 hours ago in last league game, Farveez Maharoof's hattrick cost India the dead-rubber from a healthy position and today in final, Ashish Nehra's 5 over spell ripped Sri Lanka's middle order apart to seal 5th Asia cup for India.
It wasn't a huge total to chase, just 269 from 50 overs, and hence visitors knew they had to bowl out home team to claim prestigious Asia cup after 15 long years. Ashish Nehra had been in and out of playing eleven thoughout the tournament for niggling injuries and lack of form but left armer was included in today's final purely for his experience. Coming in first change after opening bowlers Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan had cleaned up openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga, Nehra found his rhythm in first over itself, touching higher 130 kmph and in his second over, claimed Mahela Jayawardene through a rising delivery and then found edge of Angelo Mathew's bat a ball later.
50 for four, Nehra wanted more. Another short pitched angled delivery that came in to left handed Kumar Sangakkara who played a lazy pull shot only to be caught at square leg. All the while, Praveen Kumar maintained his tight line & length from other end, sending down 9 straight overs and plotting the perfect foil for Nehra to win applause from other end.
Chamara Kapugedara, Thilan Kandamby (runout off a noball) and Nuwan Kulasekara tried their best but match was already over.
Earlier, Indians had began well with Dinesh Karthik finiding baundaries at ease after visitors won the toss but Gautam Gambhir perished trying a lazy third run. Virat Kohli came in and took his time to get settled which cost Karthik his rhythm. Thanks to 29 runs off last 3 overs of bowling powerplay, pair brought up their half century partnership off 59 balls and Karthik reached his fifty ODI fifty (53 balls) but right when India's 100 came off 18.1 overs, Lasith Malinga (who was purposely brought in to bowl short) managed to break the partnership as Kohli edged to keeper Sangakkara (action replay of previous game), reducing visitors to 100 for 2 wkts.
46 runs between Dhoni and Dinesh, latter was out giving Thilan Kandamby his first one day wicket in 33rd match, failing once again to better his best ODI score of 79 in his 48th match. Captain Dhoni too departed soon playing a cut shot in the air to give Thilan Kandamby his second wicket, leaving his team at doggey position of 168 for 4 in the 33rd over.
Few good shots and some untidy fielding, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina brought up their 50 partnership from 49 balls to regather momentum for Indians but Malinga broke this partnership too, claiming Raina with a nicely disguised slower yorker. Ravindra Jadeja, as usual, couldn't get out neither he scored better than run a ball and India finished with not so impressive 268.
Also see : Asia cup league results.
Final scoresIndia 268 for 6 wickets in 50 overs
D Karthik 66, R Sharma 41, MS Dhoni 38
Sri Lanka 187 allout in 44.4 ovs (81 short)
C Kapugedera 55, T Kandamby 31, Nehra 4 for 40
Full scorecard : Asia cup final, 24 June 2010.