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Gambhir, Dhoni power India to 332

Published: Thursday, February 5, 2009, 18:24 [IST]
 
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Gambhir's best leads India to 332

Colombo: Riding on Gautam Gambhir's sparkling 150, India set a target of 334 runs for Sri Lanka at Premadasa stadium in Colombo.

Gautam Gambhir (150) became Muttiah Muralitharan's record 503rd victim in the fourth One-Day International between India and Sri Lanka at Colombo.

Gambhir's dismissal moves Muralitharan ahead of former Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram at the top of the all-time list.

Muralitharan, who is also the leading wicket taker in Tests, took sole possession of the record in his 328th one-day appearance.

Electing to bat first, India lost Virender Sehwaga when he steered a Kulasekara delivery to Sanath Jayasuriya who dived in front to take a brilliant catch at mid-off. He could make only 5 runs.

After Sehwag's early fall, MS Dhoni (94) and Gambhir consolidated India's innings and added 188 runs for the second wicket when Sanath Jayasuriya deprived the Indian captain from raising his hundred. He got a thick outside edge and Dilhara Fernando at short third man took a single-handed catch.

Gambhir completed his century soon after India lost Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan in successive overs to be reduced to 211/4 in 35 overs.

Gambhir's magnificent knock was studded with 14 fours and a six and along with Raina put up the 100-run stand off just 72 balls.

It was Nuwan Kulasekara brought the Lankans back into the game with a bang as he scalped the wickets of Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan in consecutive deliveries. Yuvraj, who came in at the fall of Dhoni"s wicket departed for just 5 while Pathan went for naught.

After a huge partnership of 188 runs, the Sri Lankans finally got a breakthrough as Mahendra Singh Dhoni holed out to Fernando off Jayasuriya for 94. The Indian total read 202/2 after 33.3 overs.

Sri Lanka found themselves in familiar territory as the duo of Dhoni and Gambhir built up yet another sensational partnership to pile on the agony. The Lankan bowlers looked absolutely clueless as the Indian total raced past the 200 run mark in the 33rd over.
g style off just 60 balls while Dhoni followed him to the mark shortly after with a huge six.

The early blow of losing Sehwag"s wicket with the team total reading just 14 did not seem to affect the Indians too much as Dhoni, who surpricingly came in at number three, batted without difficulty along with Gambhir to take the total past the 50 run mark in the 10th over. Just a little while later, the duo brought up their fifty run partnership.

Sri Lanka got a huge respite as dashing opener Virender Sehwag departed early in the fourth one dayer being played here at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground. Sehwag, who could manage just 5, was out to a brilliant catch by Jayasuriya at mid-off off the bowling of Kulasekara.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first. With the series already in the bag, India opted to test its reserve strength in the inconsequential one-dayer, as hinted by Dhoni earlier.

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