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Ahmedabad ODI: Rayudu maiden ton steers India to 2-0 | Micromax Cup 2014

Related Links: Sri Lanka Tour of India – Micromax Cup 2014 | Scoreboard of India vs Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad

India found a new batting hero in Ambati Rayudu in Ahmedabad as it crushed Sri Lanka for a second time in a row in the Micromax Cup 2014. Sri Lanka Captain Angelo Mathews says that this is getting embarrassing for the Islanders after losing the first ODI by a big margin of 169 runs at Cuttack and now allowing India in chasing down a target of 275 with 33 balls to spare!

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Batting first after winning the toss, Sri Lanka who brought in Kusal Perera for Upul Tharanga did not get any benefit from that move. Kusal Perera was dismissed for a 6-ball duck as he walked across for a flick and missed a full length delivery from Umesh Yadav to be adjudged lbw in the 1st over of the match. Tillakaratne Dilshan, the other opener got things going for the tourists taking on Ravichandran Ashwin for four boundaries on the trot. However, his fireworks were cut shot when hometown boy Akshar Patel cleaned him up with a deadly arm ball. Dilshan scored 35 from 30 balls with 7 fours leaving his team at 55 for 2 in the 11th over.

The tourists were pegged back at 64 for 3 in the 14th over when Mahela Jayawardene stepped out and chipped R Ashwin into the hands of the forward diving Ambati Rayudu at deep mid wicket. Sri Lanka recovered after that with a 90-run stand between Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews. A decision to take the batting powerplay in the 32nd over proved to be disastrous as Sri Lanka went on to lose three wickets with the addition of 30 runs!

Kumar Sangakkara after scoring 61 from 86 balls was first to go in the batting powerplay when he heaved an innocuous full toss from Umesh Yadav to long on. Seekkuge Prasanna scored 13 from 14 with a six before he swept Ravindra Jadeja into the hands of Ambati Rayudu at deep backward squareleg. The third wicket of the batting powerplay went down through a run out with Ashan Priyanjan struggling to complete a second run at the bowling end. Once again the fielder influencing a dismissal was none other than Ambati Rayudu with an accurate throw to the bowler Ravindra Jadeja.

Sri Lanka was in trouble at 179 for 6 in 36 overs. Soon they slipped to 205 for 7 in the 41st over when Akshar Patel proved to be the rock star coming up with another deadly arm ball of his and this time it was to clean up the stumps of the dangerous Thisara Perera (10). Very soon R Ashwin chipped in to have Suraj Randiv clean bowled.

India had a great chance of bowling out Sri Lanka for a modest total when it reduced the latter to 220 for 8. But Dhammika Prasad at no.10 is a genuine all-rounder in his own rights. With some authentic shots, Dhammika Prasad contributed 30 not out from 28 balls to help his Skipper Angelo Mathews to lift SL to 274 for 8. Mathews remained unbeaten on a well constructed knock of 92 from 101 balls with 10 fours and a six.

For the Indians, Akshar Patel was brilliant with figures of 10-1-39-2. R Ashwin did a decent job with 10-1-49-2 which was great considering that his first over was smashed for 18 runs by Dilshan. Umesh Yadav bowled pretty well though he ended up with slightly expensive figures of 10-1-54-2.

India went slowly in their run chase which was understandable. But an early blow with last match centurion Ajinkya Rahane edging a Dhammika Prasad outswinger in the 7th over meant that the pressure was on the hosts. The score was only 18 in the 7th over when Ambati Rayudu was sent in at no.3 to probably shield Virat Kohli from the new balls. Rayudu took all his time in the world to get going and Shikhar Dhawan at the other end was in no hurry as well.

The self belief in Shikhar Dhawan and Ambati Rayudu was immense though as the pair made up for their slow starts with a big shot every now and then. By the 20th over or so, India got things under control leaving the Sri Lankans chasing the leather. In the 27th over, there was a much needed breakthrough for the Lankans when Shikhar Dhawan top edged a slog sweep off leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna to deep backward squareleg. Dhawan scored 79 from 80 balls with 7 fours and a six while adding 122 runs for the 2nd wicket with Rayudu. The left-handed opener was extremely lucky to score 79 as he should have been dismissed cheaply a lot earlier when he got a faint edge to the keeper to an away swinger from Lahiru Gamage which was given as not out by Australian Umpire Bruce Oxenford.

India got another solid partnership which sealed the game, that of 116 for the 3rd wicket between Ambati Rayudu and Skipper Virat Kohli. Just when the match was about to be wrapped up, India lost two more wickets – Virat Kohli (49 from 44 balls with 2 fours and 2 sixes) when he drove Seekkuge Prasanna uppishly to covers and Suresh Raina (14 from 6 balls with a four and a six) who was lbw after premeditating a paddle sweep off a full ball from the same bowler.

The hosts finished the match in the 45th over with Ambati Rayudu not only scoring a maiden ODI century but also determined to remain not out. Rayudu finished with 121* from 118 balls with 10 fours and 4 sixes to get the Man of the Match award. The next action in the Micromax Cup 2014 – India vs Sri Lanka shifts to Ambati Rayudu’s home city of Hyderabad on Sunday!

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