हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Dhoni, Raina prop up India against S.Lanka

Published: Sunday, August 24, 2008, 19:00 [IST]
 
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COLOMBO :
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina hit half-centuries to help India reach a competitive 237-9 in the third one-day international against Sri Lanka here on Sunday.

Skipper Dhoni made a brisk 76 and Raina a solid 53 under pressure to rally their team after four wickets had fallen for 91 runs. The pair added 54 for the fifth wicket.

The Indian captain was instrumental in stepping up the run-rate with his bold hitting in the closing 10 overs, which yielded 70 runs. He hit eight fours in his 23rd half-century.

Dhoni was also involved in a 67-run stand for the sixth wicket with Rohit Sharma, who struck a run-a-ball 32.

Unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis finished with 3-56, including the wickets of Harbhajan Singh and Dhoni off successive balls in his last over.

A pair of run-outs at crucial stages affected India's chances of posting a challenging total after they elected to bat on a slow pitch in the day-night match.

Virat Kohli (25) had been striking the ball fluently during a 39-run stand for the opening wicket with Gautam Gambhir before becoming the first run-out victim, failing to beat a Chamara Silva direct-hit at the non-striker's end.

Raina looked set to play a big innings when he was caught short of the crease following a mix-up with Dhoni, with wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara removing the bails after collecting a throw from Tillakaratne Dilshan.

The left-hander applied himself well, patiently waiting for loose deliveries to punish. He struck a six off Mendis and four boundaries in an 80-ball knock for his sixth half-century.

India got off to a decent start before losing two big wickets in seamer Nuwan Kulasekara's opening spell.

Gambhir (eight), who missed the previous match due to a stiff neck, was trapped leg-before playing across the line, while Yuvraj Singh (12) was caught by Mahela Jayawardene at first slip after pulling the bowler for a six.

Subramaniam Badrinath contributed only six before uppishly driving Mendis to Chaminda Vaas at mid-off.

The five-match series is tied at 1-1, with Sri Lanka winning the first one-dayer by eight wickets and India posting a three-wicket win in the second game in Dambulla.

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