India have made 181-4 in the finals of the road safety league vs Sri Lanka. Batting first after losing the toss, India did not get the start they required. Virender Sehwag perished cheaply for 10 while the same happened to S Badrinath who went back to the pavilion for 7 runs. Both were dismissed by spinners in the form of Herath and Jayasuriya.
The man in form Yuvraj Singh then took it upon himself, to score the runs as he hit a few boundaries along with Tendulkar. The duo had added 43 runs for the fourth wicket, and were looking dangerous. However, that is when Tendulkar was dismissed, trying to scoop Farveez Maharoof. He made 30 in 23 balls.
Then came Yusuf Pathan at number five. Pathan started slowly, as Yuvraj was ticking the runs. The duo started to explode in unison from the over number thirteen.
Acceleration by Yuvraj and Yusuf
Weeraratne came to bowl this over and was welcomed by Yuvraj, for a huge six. A single followed and Yusuf took strike. He hit a six which was his first of the five such shots. The over cost the Sri Lanka team 16 runs as India crossed hundred runs in the 14th over.
Maharoof was then smashed for 4 runs in the next over of the very first ball of the over. This over was still tidy compared to what was coming next.
22 runs in an over!
Dammika Prasad was then pummeled for 22 runs in the next over as both Yuvraj and Yusuf belted the hapless bowler all around the ground. This over went like this – 4,1,6,6,4,1
Yuvraj first hit a four and then a single. Yusuf then took over as he hoicked the next two balls for sixes. The nightmare of the bowler did not end even after this as the fifth ball was crunched for a four. A single meant Pathan retained the strike for the next over.
20 runs in over!
Nuwan Kulasekara who bowled the next over, got similiar punishment from the duo. A dot was followed by a six and then, a single came bringing Yuvraj on strike. He then crashed Kulasekara, for another six in the over. Again a single came. Last ball of the over was pumped by Pathan, for the third six of the over, as India looted 20 runs in the over.
42 runs had come off the last 2 overs, as a score of 200 looked increasingly gettable. However, this did not happen as Yuvraj was out, in the next over for a well made 60 off 41. It included four sixes and as many boundaries. The two added 85 runs in 47 balls.
Yusuf Pathan remained unbeaten till the end. He scored 62 in 36 balls with five sixes and 4 fours. It was due to the fireworks of these two explosive batsmen, that India legends made a score in excess of 180. It did not look possible at halfway mark.
A target of 182 will be difficult for Sri Lanka as India looks favorite, to seal the final and trophy at the end of first half of the match.
Watch some of the sixes hit by Pathan and Yuvraj, in this video: