Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Randiv no-ball was not a coincidence - Sehwag

India's comfortable victory over Sri Lanka has been soured by a controversy over Suraj Randiv's massive no-ball, which proved to be the winning run and left Virender Sehwag stranded on 99, though the batsman slammed it over long-off for a six. Sehwag celebrated what would have been century No. 13, only to be told later the six didn't count. After the match, he said Randiv had bowled the no-ball deliberately, and that the move "has no place in good cricket".

"Yes, it was done deliberately," Sehwag said, shedding the blase attitude with which he had reacted to the incident immediately after the match. "Because [of the size of the no-ball] ... that much from the crease. Till now in Test matches he hasn't bowled a no-ball [Randiv bowled two at the P Sara Oval], he hasn't bowled no-balls in one-day cricket, on 99 only why did he bowl a no-ball? And not a small no-ball, not a small margin, from one foot ahead."

Sehwag cracked 11 fours and two sixes as India overhauled Sri Lanka's modest total of 170 in the 35th over to earn themselves a bonus point. India suffered an embarrassing 200-run defeat by New Zealand in their opening match last week.

Sehwag hit Suraj Randiv for a six with the final delivery of the match but was denied a century after the umpire a signalled no-ball. India lost their way chasing Sri Lanka's total and slumped to 91-4 before captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (23 not out) helped Sehwag add 80 off 79 balls in an unbroken fifth wicket partnership to steer them to victory.

Sri Lanka were outplayed by a good all-round performance by India who kept the pressure on the hosts throughout their innings after Praveen Kumar bowled Upul Tharanga first ball.

Only Tillakaratne Dilshan (45) and Randiv (43) made any impression against India's disciplined bowling and fielding.

Sri Lanka next play New Zealand on Thursday.

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