Yuvraj, Sehwag power India to 363/5 (Lead)

February 3rd, 2009 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin TendulkarColombo, Feb 3 (IANS) Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh savaged the Sri Lankan attack with blistering centuries as India ran up 363 for five in the third One-day international cricket here Tuesday.Yuvraj smashed 117 in just 95 balls while Sehwag’s 116 took 90 deliveries. The duo tore apart the Sri Lankan attack with a 221-run stand in 167 balls after India lost Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir early.

Tendulkar came down the crease to loft Dilhara Fernando for a straight six on a free-hit before he was once again unfortunate to be given lbw, third time in as many matches. Gambhir, too was unlucky, as he backed up too far at the non-strikers end when the ball brushed Fernando’s fingertips to hit the stumps.

What unfolded thereafter was mayhem as Sehwag and Yuvraj joined forces to strike telling blows one after the other.

The devastating stand ensured that India crossed the 100-mark in 14.4 overs and the next 100 runs came in just 72 balls (26.5 overs)

Yuvraj struck some magnificent strokes on either side of the wicket. The duo found boundaries at will, dispatching the ball to all corners of the park.

It was not all power hitting by Sehwag and Yuvraj. The gift of timing that they possess, the strokes had the touch of class.

Whether it was the fast bowlers or formidable spin sensation of Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis, Sehwag and Yuvraj spared none.

Muralitharan went for 60 in 10 overs while Mendis gave away 64 in nine overs.

The duo had their share of luck too. Farveez Maharoof was short of ground when Yuvraj miscued Mendis over mid-wicket, and Fernando palmed a tough chance over the rope when Sehwag was on 45. Sanath Jayasuriya grassed a routine caught-and-bowled chance with Sehwag on 72.

Both hit 17 boundaries while Yuvraj had an extra six.

Yuvraj was finally dismissed to Muralitaharan as Chamara Kapugedera caught him at point. Sehwag was run out before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (35 not out) and Yusuf Pathan (59 off 38 balls) carried on the assault. Pathan was punishing as he hit three sixes and four fours.

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