Dhoni completes hat-trick in Sri Lanka
August 1, 2012 | Cricket
India’s 400th ODI victory was significant not just for the statistical weight that the number represents, but also because it sealed their third bilateral series win on Sri Lankan soil. It took India 23 years to win its first bilateral series in Sri Lanka.
That was in August 2008; in less than four years, they have added two more bilateral series wins in Sri Lanka.
The man under whom this unprecedented success has happened is none other than MS Dhoni.
In August 2008, Dhoni led India to their maiden bilateral series win in Sri Lanka by a 3-2 margin. It was a success that surprised many, because India had been obliterated by Ajantha Mendis in their previous ODI encounter, the Asia Cup final, and were coming off a 2-1 Test series defeat in which Mendis was again the tormentor.
The team was also without Sachin Tendulkar, and Virender Sehwag had been forced out the series on the eve of the first match in Dambulla.
Sri Lanka thrashed India in the series opener, bowling them out for 146 in 46 overs before skipping past the finish line with eight wickets and 91 balls remaining.
The odds were stacked against India, they scrapped to a series-leveling win in the second game, this time bowling Sri Lanka out for 142 in 38.3 over with Zaheer Khan claiming four wickets.
India’s chase was not as straightforward as Sri Lanka’s had been, but the debutant S Badrinath kept his nerve to score an unbeaten 27 and negate any further threat from Mendis.