Sri Lanka have given India a difficult target of 290 runs in the 8th match of the CB Series at the Gabba. Considering that batting could be difficult under lights on the bouncy Brisbane pitch, Sri Lanka with a quality pace attack will be the favourites to win this match.
A solid start from the opening pair of Skipper Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan provided the impetus for the Lankans. The two right handers put up 95 for the first wicket in 18.4 overs before Mahela Jayawardene (45 from 55 balls with 2 fours) got brilliantly caught at mid wicket by Virender Sehwag in a frontfoot pull off Irfan Pathan.
India in the next 10 overs got back in the contest by reducing Sri Lanka to 124 for 3 in 27.1 overs. First it was R Ashwin forcing Tillakaratne Dilshan (51 from 72 balls with 5 fours and a six) to edge a bouncing straighter one to the Wicket Keeper Parthiv Patel in the 22nd over. Umesh Yadav coming in for his second spell sometime later struck with the very first ball when he had Kumar Sangakkara (8) hooking his short and rising delivery straight into the safe hands of Sachin Tendulkar at square fine leg.
The bowling side was on top at this stage but only to lose its advantage because of a fine partnership of 71 between youngsters Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirmanne for the 4th wicket which provided a nice platform for Sri Lanka. It was in the 39th over that India got the wicket of Dinesh Chandimal (38 from 49 balls) when he was cleaned up by an inswinging yorker from Pathan in an attempted big hit.
Lahiru Thirmanne survived a possible Mankad Run-Out when he was backing up at the non-striker’s end even before the ball was released. Ashwin smartly whipped the bails off but India sportingly withdrew its appeal. It was another matter that Thirmanne continued to back up for sometime until he got the message from his dressing room. The left hander otherwise batted beautifully scoring 62 from 62 balls (with 6 fours) before he got caught by a running Suresh Raina at deep extra covers off R Ashwin.
Sri Lanka were strongly placed at 244 for 5 in 46 overs when Thirmanne got out. Angelo Mathews batted nicely for an unbeaten 49 from 37 balls (with 4 fours and a six) to lift Sri Lanka to an imposing total of 289 for 6. For India, Ravindra Jadeja was the best of the bowlers giving only 43 in his 10 overs.
Toss and Teams : Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to bat first in the 8th match of the Commonwealth Bank Series against India at the Gabba in Brisbane. India are of course being led by Virender Sehwag following the one-match ban on MS Dhoni due to slow over-rate. Apart from Sehwag, Parthiv Patel and R Ashwin come into the playing XI. The trio are going to replace Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and Zaheer Khan.
Sri Lanka have stuck with the same team that comprehensively beat Australia last week at the Adelaide Oval.
Pitch and Weather Report : There is some grass cover on the pitch which means that the ball will bounce a lot for the pacers. It could be a difficult pitch to bat under lights with the white ball expected to dart around. The conditions are overcast at Brisbane and there is every possibility of a shower coming during the course of the match.
Sri Lanka Playing XI: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), Kumar Sangakkara (Wicket Keeper), Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thissara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga and Rangana Herath
India Playing XI: Virender Sehwag (Captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel (Wicket Keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Irfan Pathan, R Ashwin, R Vinay Kumar and Umesh Yadav