Thushara, Mubarak steer Lanka to 227

Published: Friday, August 29, 2008, 19:10 [IST]
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Colombo: An unconventional 54 from No.8 batsman Thilana Thushura and a measured knock from Mubarak helped Lanka post a fighting 227/6 in the fifth and final ODI against India at the Premadasa Stadium here on Friday.

Lanka was staring into abyss after Indian seamers removed the cream of Islanders batting line-up. However the lower-order batters

Thushara and Mubarak forged a fine unbeaten 94-run stand for the seventh wicket to ensure Lanka a respectable total.

Rookie Thushura, who has shone with both bat and ball in the ongoing series, played some unconventional strokes en route to his maiden half-century. His 46-ball knock was inclusive of six hits to fence. On the other hand Mubarak played a calculated and responsable knock. The lanky left-hander playing his first match in the series was content in giving the more aggressive Thushara the strike.

Earlier Lanka opting to bat in a nothing-at-stake match got off to a bad start losing Sanath in the very first over of the innings.

Zaheer induced Sanath to play his trademark cut shot with a short of length ball outside the off. Sanath couldn't curb his instincts went for it only to be holed to Ojha stationed at deep point.

Udawatte joined Warnapura in the middle and the pair revided Lankan innings with a slow but solid 77-run stand. The duo saw off the new ball attack and targetted the change bowlers. They amassed as many as 23 runs in RP's first two overs.

However Irfan struck twice in his second over to remove the duo. In the following over RP netted the prized scalp when he lured

Sangakkara with a short ball on off stump to go for a cut. Sanga reached for it and miscued the cut only to offer a regulation catch to Gambhir at slips as Lanka slumped from 78/1 to 82/4.

Skipper Jayawardene and Kapugedera treid in vain to stem the rot. Ojha, who bowled excellently to return with creditable figures of 2/28 in10 overs including of four maidens, tied Mahela and Chamara down with probing spell. The Lankan duo trying to up the scoring rate fell to Ojha's trap.


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