Fri, Jan 15, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Jayawardene and Sangakkara guide Sri Lanka to victory


Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara hit impressive half-centuries to guide Sri Lanka to a four-wicket win over India in the triangular one-day series final on Wednesday.

Jayawardene top-scored with an unbeaten 71 and skipper Sangakkara made a brisk 55 as Sri Lanka passed India’s 245 with nine balls to spare in the day-night match.

The duo also upstaged India’s Suresh Raina, who cracked a gutsy 106 under pressure to prop up the innings.

“I always say we have got match-winners in the side and when it mattered today every one of them fired. It was a great start and all credit to the bowlers,” said Sangakkara, who was named man of the series.

India were a bowler short when paceman Ashish Nehra left the field with an injury soon after having opener Upul Tharanga caught by Virat Kohli at second slip with his third delivery.

Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (49) and Sangakkara dominated the Indian attack with aggressive shots, adding 93 for the second wicket.

India’s spinners brought their side back into the game, removing the well-set Dilshan, Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera (27) and Thilina Kandamby (18) to reduce Sri Lanka to 189-5.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh impressed the most with 2-41, while left-arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Yuvraj Singh bagged one wicket apiece.

However, Jayawardene kept his cool to steer his side home, ending the match with three successive fours off paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.

India were earlier wobbling at 60-5 following incisive opening spells from pacemen Nuwan Kulasekara and Chanaka Welegedara, but Raina came to his team’s rescue with his third one-day hundred.

Man-of-the-match Kula­se­ka­ra finished with 4-48 and left-arm seamer Welegedara grabbed 3-53.

“I am very happy because this is my first man-of-the-match award outside my country. They had a good batting line-up and we needed wickets early,” Kulasekara said.

“I enjoyed Virender Sehwag’s wicket the most,” he said.

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