Sunday, 29 August 2010

The curse of 299

Well yesterday in the finals of the triangular series between India and Sri Lanka at Dambulla, not only did India suffer a loss in yet another finals of a tournament involving three nations or more but, also collapsed while chasing a total of 300, with Sri Lanka closing in on 299. This was the same score at which ten years back India slumped to their worst ever defeat in one dayers when they lost all their ten wickets for 54 runs while chasing the same target of 299. That match was a memorable one for Sanath Jayasuriya's epic knock of 189.

Similarly, the series being memorable one for Muttiah Muralitharan when he took 7 wickets giving away 30 runs in a game in the league stage of the tournament once again against India. That was the third time in history of one day cricket that a bowler had taken 7 wickets after Pakistan's Aqib Javed and West Indies' Windson Davis (who took 7/41) . For the second time in that series, India was at the receiving end of a bowler who took 7 wickets. The venue was Sharjah in both the occasions which makes it even more delightful for team India.

As a matter of fact, India and England are the only teams against which two bowlers have taken a 7 wicket haul. The other teams that have had it one are Zimbabwe against whom Chaminda Vass took 8/19 and Windson Davis taking 7/41 as mentioned above against Australia. As a matter of fact, no one has been able to take even a 7 wicket haul against Bangladesh. Anyways, coming to yesterday's match, this was a time when chasing even 350 should not have been tough atleast for India which didn't happen. One thing that is to be noticed is that this was India's second loss to Sri Lanka in the finals of a tri nation trophy.

Last time when India met Sri Lanka in the finals of the Asia cup, India won the match and prior to that, Sri Lanka won the finals in the triangular series late last year which also involved New Zealand. Of course, India didn't enter the finals of the tri nation tournament involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe. It is now a difficult task for anyone to hold the number of games played between India and Sri Lanka since 2008. Any tournament that stands canceled is found to be compensated by an India-Sri Lanka series. May be that is the reason Sachin Tendulkar was dropped despite there being fears of a series loss.

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