Thu, Jul 26, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Sri Lanka beat India by nine wickets

COMFORTABLE:Sri Lanka’s bowlers made a meal of the India batsmen, restricting them to 138 runs in their second-biggest defeat ever in one-day internationals

AFP, HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka

Pacemen Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews each grabbed three wickets to set up Sri Lanka’s comfortable nine-wicket win over India in their second one-day international (ODI) on Tuesday.

Man-of-the-match Perera finished with 3-19 and Mathews with 3-14 as India were dismissed for 138 off 33.3 overs, after electing to bat in windy conditions in the day-night match in Hambantota.

Sri Lanka achieved the modest target with 181 balls to spare, with Upul Tharanga (59 not out) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (50) adding 119 for the opening wicket to help their team level the five-match series 1-1.

It was India’s second-biggest defeat by balls remaining in ODIs, their worst (209 balls) also coming against Sri Lanka at Dambulla in 2010.

“Thisara and Angelo did the job for us,” Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said.

“We have shown that we can bounce back, the guys have the hunger. I haven’t seen Upul Tharanga bat like this in a while,” he added.

Tharanga cracked eight fours in his 60-ball knock, while Dilshan, who was dropped early in his innings by Virender Sehwag in the slips off seamer Irfan Pathan, hit five boundaries.

India failed to keep pressure on the Sri Lanka openers, with fast bowlers Zaheer Khan and Pathan conceding 13 runs in wides.

India were earlier let down by their batsmen, with opener Gautam Gambhir alone defying the Sri Lanka attack with a 96-ball 65. He was the last man out, caught behind off paceman Lasith Malinga (2-36) after hitting four boundaries.

Ravichandran Ashwin (21), opener Sehwag (15) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (11) were the others to reach double figures in a dismal India batting performance.

“We lost too many wickets too quickly,” Dhoni said.

“We need to learn from our experiences and not think too much about these defeats. Gambhir batted really well,” he added.

The Sri Lanka pacemen were backed by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara, who held four catches.

Perera jolted India when he took three wickets, including those of the previous match’s main scorers Sehwag and Virat Kohli (1), in his opening three overs without conceding a run.

Kohli had made an impressive 106 and Sehwag a brisk 96 in India’s victory in the opening match on Saturday.

Perera struck in his first over when he held a superb return catch to dismiss Sehwag and then had Kohli caught behind to put India under pressure.

Mathews reduced India to 38-3 when he bowled Rohit Sharma for no score, before Perera removed Suresh Raina (1) for his third wicket.

India retained the side which won the first match, while Sri Lanka replaced injured paceman Nuwan Kulasekara with debutant seamer Isuru Udana.

The third ODI is scheduled to be played in Colombo on Saturday.

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