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Monday, August 25, 2008

Sri Lanka vs India Fourth ODI 2008: Preview and Live Score

With India leading 2-1 in the series with two matches at hand, host Sri Lanka is now under pressure ahead of Tuesday’s fourth ODI match. The day/night match will take place at the R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on 26 August. Needing a victory to seal the series, India will definitely look to win the match, while for Sri Lanka, it is a ‘do or die’ match as they have no other option of winning the two remaining matches in order to save the series. Losing two back-to-back matches, Sri Lanka is really under pressure at this moment.


Match: Sri Lanka vs India, Fourth ODI 2008

Date: 26 August 2008

Venue: R.Premadasa Stadium

Kick off: 2.30pm (local time) 09:00 (GMT)


Winning second and third ODIs, India bounced back in the series strongly after suffering a humiliating defeating in the first ODI at Dambulla. So, Indians will be full of confidence, while the host side will be gearing up to come back in the series and keep the series alive until the fifth and the final ODI gets underway. After a highly successful test series, Sri Lankan batsmen are now under the radar. Following the collapse in the top order during the third ODI, the focus is now on Sri Lankan batsmen who failed to win any momentum in the previous two matches.


Except Mahela Jayawardene’s 94, no other batsmen in Sri Lankan top order could come out strongly while chasing a modest total of 238 in the third ODI. In fact, the 94-run innings by Jayawardene has been highest by a Sri Lankan batsmen batsman at home since Upul Tharanga's 105 against Bangladesh way back in 2005. Sanath Jayasuria and Kumar Sangakara are yet to appear with their true form in the series. Problem remains in their middle order as well. Chamara Silva had just one half century in his last 11 innings- clearly showing his current off form. His middle order partner Tillakaratne Dilshan spent a successful test series, but yet to get back that rhythm in ODI series.


Actually, Sri Lankan batting line up looks balanced and obviously more experienced than Indian batting line up. What they need is to get back into form and play their natural game. That is what Jayawardene might ask for from his team mates ahead of the fourth ODI.


To tell the truth, Indian batsmen could not perform expectedly. With some key players like Yuvraj Singh still to get big scores in the series, Indian batsmen will also need to come back with their true form in the fourth ODI in order to help Indian’s in-form bowlers. Actually, Indian batsmen might have been under the same pressure, if Indian bowlers, particularly the pacers, could not come out with their prime form and show some brilliant piece of performance.


Indian opening pair could not yet click in the series so far. Kohli played two small but significant innings in the second and third matches, but he requires to carry on the innings after settling in the wicket. Gambhir had a very good test series, and I think, a big score is just around the corner for him. In the middle order, Suresh Raina played an excellent innings of 53 in their 33-run victory in the third ODI. Subramaniam Badrinath showed his temperament and skill as a middle order batsman in the second match. Irfan Pathan’s inclusion in the middle order could bolster the Indian batting line up. With Zaheer Khan frequently making useful contribution with bat, the depth of Indian batting line up has been increased.


Before talking about bowlers, I would like to mention that the wicket for fourth ODI will be very similar to that of third one at the Premadasa stadium. Bowlers will have some advantage in the evening sessions and batting first would most likely to be a decision to be taken by the toss-winning captain.


Pacers were instrumental in both of India’s victory. Specially, Zaheer Khan has been in an excellent form over the last two matches. Praveen Kumar’s effective bowling with variations in pace and swing could be lethal once again for the Sri Lankan top order if they do not play him with due concentration. After a very long time, India deployed a third pacer and that worked very well too as Munaf Patel bowled very well. Harbhajan Singh has been pretty much consistent in the ODI series, capitalizing on the good start given by the pacers.


For Sri Lanka, pacer Chaminda Vaas and two spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis must have to play some important role if they want to keep the Indian total within their reach.


Online Live Score and Updates
If you can not stick to your television set to enjoy the live action of the match, you can visit the following live score sites from where you can get the updated score of the match:


Cricinfo
Cricketnext
Cricket.sulekha
stickcricket
cricpoint
indvsauslivescore
cricbuzz
squidoo
Sify
cricketworld


It is very hard to predict who are going to win the match because both the sides seem to be equal in terms of strength. The much of the result of the match will depend on how successfully Indian batsmen would face the Sri Lankan spinners, and to what extent Sri Lankan top order batsmen would successfully face the Indian pacers. Anyway, both the sides will not leave any stone unturned to win the match. Herein lies the indication of an exciting match at the Premadadsa Stadium in Colombo.

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