Wed, Feb 13, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Sri Lanka thrash India, Kiwis hammer England

AFP , CANBERRA

Sri Lanka hammered India by eight wickets yesterday to revive their hopes in the rain-hit tri-series.

Set a revised 154 to win from 21 overs, Sri Lanka reached the rain-adjusted target with two overs to spare for their first win of the series.

India made 195 for five from 29 overs after an early downpour delayed the start of play, but the game was shortened again when further rain arrived during the break between innings.

Rain has played havoc with the series, with the first two matches washed out.

After opener Sanath Jayasuriya gave Sri Lanka, thrashed by Australia by 128 runs in their previous match, a flying start with 27 from 13 balls they were always comfortably placed to reach the Indian total.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said his side showed great character in a match they needed to win.

"We needed to show character. I thought the guys did show character today and fought really well," he said.

"Winning the toss was a bit of an advantage on that wicket earlier on. We managed to keep them to a decent score and the chase was well-calculated so credit to the guys for the way they handled themselves today," he said.

Jayasuriya sparked Sri Lanka when he hit two massive sixes in one Shanthakumaran Sreesanth over that went for 23.

It was a nightmare match for the fiery Indian quick, who conceded 48 runs in only three overs and was also pulled for another six by Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his side were always on the back foot after the flying Sri Lankan start.

"The kind of start they got I think was really amazing," Dhoni said. "There's nothing much you can do as a captain. It was really amazing to see Dilshan bat and the way he carried on with his innings."

Although Ishant Sharma removed Jayasuriya, Dilshan's classy half-century guided his side safely to the target.

Man-of-the-match Dilshan was unbeaten on 62, having faced just 59 balls, hitting six boundaries and one six. He put on 85 with Jayawardene (36-not-out).

Only spinner Harbhajan Singh, who claimed Kumar Sangakkara with his first ball and finished with 1-15 from four overs, was able to trouble the Sri Lanka batsmen.

BLACK CAPS V ENGLAND

AFP, HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND

A dominant batting performance by openers Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder powered New Zealand to a 10-wicket win over England in the second one-day cricket international in Hamilton yesterday.

The overwhelming victory, completed with 17.5 overs to spare in the rain-shortened game, lifted New Zealand to 2-0 in the five-match series.

Set an adjusted target of 165 to win in 36 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis system, McCullum belted 80 off 47 balls and Ryder cracked 79 from 62 with six extras.

Their unbroken stand was a New Zealand record against England, eclipsing the 160 by Martin Crowe and Geoff Howard in 1984.

England, sent into bat after New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori won the toss, were all out for 158 with five balls remaining in their innings, which was interrupted by a 140-minute rain delay.

England captain Paul Collingwood had no excuses for the below-par performance.

"We were well beaten, weren't good enough," he said. "We started off well until the rain break and after that it was just a devastating period for us. We're not making any excuses tonight, we weren't good enough, simple as that."

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