The determined Ravichandran Ashwin took India through to the victory gates by his excellent all-round performance in the second match of the tri-series played against Sri Lanka.
The Islanders scored 233 runs for the loss of eight wickets in the allotted 50 overs and the Blue Shirts chased the target by posting 234 runs after losing six wickets in 46.4 overs.
Ravichandran Ashwin was declared ‘Player of the match’ for securing three wickets and playing a watchful innings of unbeaten 30 runs.
The Commonwealth Bank Series – 2nd match was played at Western Australia Cricket Association Ground, Perth, on February 8, 2012.
Earlier Sri Lankan Captain, Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and opted to bat first as the decision bounced back when they lost the first wicket for 12 runs. The experienced Tillakaratne Dildhan and Kumar Sangakkara got together at the crease and laid the solid foundation of the innings by watchful batting.
The duo accumulated 62 runs for the second wicket when Sangakkara lost his wicket for 26 runs. Young Dinesh Chandimal joined in with Dilshan who lost his wicket while trying to escalate the scoring rate for 48. The second wicket was gone at 100 runs as Jayawardene arrived at the crease and associated 52 runs partnership with Chandimal.
Ashwin claimed his first wicket when Jayawardene was caught at deep square leg for 23 runs. Chandimal kept his cool while securing his wicket, kept the score board moving and completed his fifty in the 39th over. He became the third victim of Ashwin for 64 runs off 81 balls with 4 fours as MS Dhoni made a brilliant stumping.
Angelo Mathews made some efforts in the middle order and remained not out for 33 runs. Sri Lanka scored 233with eight wickets down as the required quota of 50 overs was utilized.
Ashwin was the supreme bowler after clinching three wickets, Zaheer Khan held two as Vinay Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja claimed one wicket each.
India suffered an early blow in the third over when their star performer Virender Sehwag lost his wicket for 10 runs. The promising Virat Kohli joined in with the master batsman, Sachin Tendulkar and both crafted the innings while utilizing all scoring opportunities.
The duo took the score to 89 runs when Tendulkar played on a ball to the wickets from Mathews and went back to the pavilion for 48 runs. Kohli took charge as the wickets kept on tumbling at the other end and he became the sixth victim while taking an unnecessary single after hitting a six one ball earlier. He smashed 77 runs off 94 balls which included one six and eight fours.
India was six down at 181 runs and still required 53 runs from 14 overs as Ashwin and Jadeja joined together in the middle. They displayed fine batting while keeping in view the required runs which was well led by Ashwin who dispatched a four in the 45th, 46th and 47th over and guided the blue shirts to their first victory in the tournament.
Ashwin and Jadeja shared an unbroken partnership of 53 runs for the seventh wicket and remained unbeaten for 30 and 24 runs as India achieved the target by scoring 234 runs with 3.2 overs to spare.
India has collected four vital points from two matches, Australia at par with them while beating them in the first game and Sri Lanka has lost its first match of the tri-series.