India out of T20 WorldCup 2010

ICC World Twenty20, 23rd Match, Group F: India v Sri Lanka at Gros Islet, May 11, 2010.
India are out of the ICC World Twenty20, 2010, as Sri Lanka beat them by 5 wickets, and keep their hopes alive for qualification to the next round.

Sri Lanka have beaten India by five wickets in the last over thriller. India who had posted a total of 163 runs, which, they would have believed to be 15 to 20 runs short of what they could have reached, were restricted by a good death-bowling. Malinga was superb with his figures of 2 for 25 runs in 4 overs. Suresh Raina was the top scorer for India with a 47-ball 63 runs innings.

Sri Lanka started the chase with the in-form batsmen and the Championship leading run-scorer; Mahela Jayawardene and destructive Sanath Jayasuriya. However, both the openers fell in quick succession and Sri Lanka were 6 for 2 in the 2nd over. From there on, there was no stopping Dilshan who scored a quick 33 runs of 26 balls, which included five 4s. The Sri Lankan captain, Kumar Sangakara also stepped up to the task ahead, and was bowled out by Vinay Kumar on 46. He had struck three 6s and two 4s, to keep the required run-rate in check, under 10 runs an over.

However, when Sri Lanka seemed to have had a grip on the match, wickets fell, that of Dilshan and Sangakara. However, with some clever and aggressive batting of Angelo Mathews and Chamara Kapugedera, Sri Lanka were able to cut down the chase to 30 runs in the last two overs.

It was when Kapugedera struck two consecutive sixes of the last two balls of Vinay Kumar’s final over (the first one, knocked India out of the tournament, as Sri Lanka had scored 145 by then). Sri Lanka took 17 runs of the second last over, and the target came down to 13 required of the last over. But the game was not over yet and the twist was yet to come.

Nehra came to bowl his final over, and eventually, the last over of the second innings, and was struck for six straight away by Mathews, and 4 runs for scored for the next three balls. Sri Lanka needed just 3 runs of the last two balls. Mathews was run-out by Nehra at the non-striker’s end, as he tucked in a good yorker and they had to go for the run. So, 3 needed of the last ball, and Kapugeder was on strike, who had played a magnificent innings of 15-ball 31 at a strike-rate of more than 200. Many of you would have betted on a draw or a win for India (I thought, the later would happen) but hear this “Nehra charges in for the final ball, Sri Lanka need 3 runs to win, Nehra bowls, Kapugedera charges down the track and carves that over sweeper cover for a SIX to pull off a final-ball victory” – Waooh!!

So, I am happy that I was cheering for the winning team from the beginning. Angelo Mathews was declared ‘Man-of-the-Match’ for his terrific knock of 46 runs.

Sri Lanka now have to wait for the result of the match between Australia and West Indies, to see if they qualified for the semifinals or not. If Australia wins, they are through, if not, then net run-rate would be the decider of which teams would qualify for semifinals from Group F.

From Group E, Pakistan and England have qualified for the semifinals of the ICC World Twenty20 Championship, ’10.

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