Wed, Sep 16, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Tendulkar powers India to victory in Sri Lanka tri-series


Sachin Tendulkar hit his 44th one-day century to lead India to a 46-run win over Sri Lanka in the final of their limited-overs tri-series on Monday.

Tendulkar, the world’s leading Test and one-day scorer, made 138 off 133 balls as India piled up 319-5 after batting first in the day-night match at the Premadasa stadium.

Sri Lanka made a gallant chase after the stiff target, buoyed by a blistering opening stand of 64 in 7.5 overs by Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya, before they were all out for 273.

Dilshan hit 42 off 29 balls when his dismissal in the eighth over, bowled by Harbhajan Singh, triggered a dramatic collapse in which five wickets fell for the addition of 67 runs. Off-spinner Harbhajan finished with 5-56 to signal India’s morale-boosting win ahead of the eight-nation Champions Trophy, which opens in South Africa on Tuesday.

Skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Thilina Kandamby revived Sri Lanka with a 51-run stand for the sixth wicket, when India earned a lucky break to make it 182-6.

Sangakkara, who made 33, saw his bat fly out of his hands and break the stumps as he attempted to pull a full toss from Rudra Pratap Singh.

Kandamby and Chamara Kapugedara scared the Indians by adding 70 for the seventh wicket, but both batsmen fell in the space of 12 runs, derailing the Sri Lankans.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who did his team a favor by winning the toss on a wicket that slowed down, made 56 from 62 balls during a second-wicket stand of 110 with Tendulkar.

Yuvraj Singh remained unbeaten on a quickfire 56 off 41 balls as India plundered 85 runs in the last 10 overs.

Tendulkar battled oppressive heat and humidity to bat for 46 overs despite developing leg cramps in the later part of his innings, necessitating the help of a runner. He hit 10 boundaries and a six before being leg-before to Ajantha Mendis after smashing a six and two boundaries earlier in the over.

It was Tendulkar’s 86th international century — 42 in Tests and 44 in one-dayers — to complement his world record 12,773 Test and 16,895 one-day runs in a brilliant 20-year career.

Tendulkar put on 95 for the first wicket with fellow veteran Rahul Dravid, who contributed 39 after being asked to open the batting in place of the axed Dinesh Karthik.

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