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Scoreline: SL 170 all out Dilshan 45 (62), Randiv 43 (61) | Praveen Kumar 8-2-20-2, Ojha 3
India win in 34.3 for the loss of 4 Sehwag 99 no (100)
Two things related to Sehwag:
Until his late flurry, you felt he was really playing a subdued game and yet while he was in the 60s and 70s, his strike rate was still in the high 80s. To a certain extent this illusion of being subdued was due to him not getting too much of the strike, but nevertheless an interesting insight into our expectations from him
The no-ball incident: Whether Sehwag was 99 or 100 doesn’t make a difference to the fact that he won his team the game. Sure, you can say it’s silly to bowl a noball deliberately when the opposition is on its way to winning a game in under 40 overs. But for me, what made it ridiculous and ridicule-worthy was the postmatch when Sanga came on and feigned ignorance. It doesn’t help that he’s been involved in 2 attempts to deny hundreds over the last year – both Sachin (one – very mildly in an ODI where Karthik kind of fell for his bait of a field-up – and the other quite obviously in a test where India refused the draw he offered so that Tendulkar could complete his match-saving hundred). Conspiracy-theorists could also point to words involving what sounds like the word “hundred” heard over the stump mic just before the no-ball. But given that it was in a language I don’t understand, it could well have meant – “he’ll try to go for a hundred, bowl this ball or that ball”.
Surely Sanga must have been informed by someone about the noball given that it was shown clearly on the giant screen. As captain all one expects is for him to stand up for his bowler rather than leave him in the lurch. One can then disagree or agree with the no-ball, but at least you’d respect him for having the courage to stand up for his convictions. Sorry to say, but can’t imagine Mahela doing this.