On this day in 2009, there was an ODI between India and Sri Lanka where the cricket fans enjoyed a thrilling high-scoring game at Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground (Rajkot).
It was the series opener of the five-match home ODI series for India where the visitors Sri Lanka decided to field first after winning the toss. India provided a brilliant start in the game after Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar set an opening partnership of 153 runs.
Sehwag started the game in his familiar fashion and completed his half-century in just 34 balls while Tendulkar managed to complete his half-century in 48 balls. After the 153-run partnership, Tendulkar was bowled by the pacer Dilhara Fernando for 69 off 63 balls (10 fours and only six) on the 20th over.
However, it failed to affect the Indian innings as Sehwag stretched the scoreboard smoothly with the skipper MS Dhoni. Sehwag completed his 12th ODI century on just 66 balls and he carried on that smashing innings for longer.
The skipper MS Dhoni also started the innings in the similar fashion of Sehwag as he also completed his half-century in just 34 balls. Both had another 156-run partnership for the second wicket and after that Sehwag was dismissed on his highest ODI knock at that time by scoring 146 off 102 balls (17 fours and 6 sixes). In the very next over, Dhoni was dismissed after scoring 72 off 53 balls (7 fours and 3 sixes).
Suresh Raina came to bat at no.4 and Gautam Gambhir came to bat at no.5 in that game. However, both were dismissed cheaply on just 16 and 11 runs respectively and the next batsman Harbhajan Singh (11) followed them quickly.
More surprisingly, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja came to bat at no.8 and 9 respectively. They played some crucial firing cameo knocks at the death overs to secure India’s total over 400 runs. Kohli scored 27 off 19 balls before getting bowled out while Jadeja was not out on 30 off 17 balls. Praveen Kumar was the other man to remain not out on 5 runs as India managed to score 414/7 at the end of 50 overs.
Among the Sri Lankan bowlers, Nuwan Kulasekara (2/65), Chanaka Welegedara (2/63) and Dilhara Fernando (2/66) picked up two wickets each while Angelo Mathews (1/60) got one wicket.
Here is the video of Sehwag’s knock:
In the second innings of that ODI, the Indian bowlers faced the same situation and the hosts faced a lot of trouble to defend even that mammoth total. Sri Lankan openers Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan provided a 188-run partnership for the first wicket and set the team for a remarkable chase.
After completing his fourth ODI century in just 73 balls, Dilshan stretched his innings to chase the mammoth target while Tharanga reached his 50 on 51 balls. After Tharanga was dismissed on 67 off 60 balls (3 fours and 4 sixes), the visitors scored faster, thanks to Dilshan and the skipper Kumar Sangakkara.
Brutal Sangakkara completed his half-century in just 24 balls – fastest ODI half-century by a Sri Lankan batsman against India till the date (15 December 2018). Dilshan and Sangakkara had another important partnership of 128-run for the second wicket before Sangakkara was dismissed on 90 off 43 balls (10 fours and 5 sixes).
Coming to bat at no.4, Sanath Jayasuriya was dismissed very soon on just 5 runs while Dilshan was the next batsman to lose his wicket after scoring a brilliant 160 off 124 balls (20 fours and 3 sixes). Soon, Mahela Jayawardene also ran out on just 4 runs.
From that situation, Thilina Kandamby and Angelo Mathews recovered that innings and carried the team to the very close of the target. In the final two overs, Sri Lanka needed 15 runs and they had five wickets in hands, including two set batsmen. In that penultimate over, Kandamby (24 off 25 balls) and the new batsman Thilan Samaraweera (0) faced run-out dismissals.
In the final over, Sri Lanka needed 11 runs to win while Ashish Nehra came to bowl for the hosts to defend that target. Mathews was dismissed in that over after playing a fighting knock of 38 off 33 balls and Sri Lanka failed to score needing five runs in the final ball of the game. Sri Lanka finally managed to score 411/8 in 50 overs while India won the game by just 3 runs and took the 1-0 lead in the series. Sehwag won the Player of the Match award for playing a brilliant knock.
Among the Indian bowlers, Harbhajan Singh (2/58) got two wickets and Praveen Kumar (1/67), Ashish Nehra (1/81) and Suresh Raina (1/37) bagged one wicket each.
Here is the video of the match: