Super Sangakkara wins it for Sri Lanka in final-over thriller

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Updated: Friday, February 28, 2014, 22:08 [IST]
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Fatullah, Feb 28: Experienced Kumar Sangakkara showed the way with a breathtaking 84-ball 103 as Sri Lanka recovered from a middle-order batting collapse to pull off a thrilling two-wicket victory over India in the Asia Cup here today.


Chasing 265 for win, the islanders rode on the 36-year-old's masterclass to complete the task with four balls to spare at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium.

Super Sangakkara wins it for Sri Lanka

The win helped Sri Lanka jump to the top of table in the five-nation continental tournament.

Sri Lanka were cruising at 134 for one after the butterfingered Indian fielders dropped three catches.

But Ravindra Jadeja, who scalped two wickets in two balls en route to 3/30 and Ravichandran Aswhin (2/42), brought back the Indians.

However, Sangakkara stood firm till the penultimate over, in the process striking 12 boundaries and a six.

Continuing his dream run in Bangladesh that include one triple century, three centuries and two half-centuries across Test and ODI formats, Sangakkara looked in complete control even as he lacked support at the other end, after the departure of Kusal Perera (64).

With his team under pressure, the experienced campaigner ensured that he took Sri Lanka close to the target as he completed his 18th ODI century with a boundary in 83 balls, only to be dismissed by Mohammed Shami in the next ball.

By the time he was dismissed, the Lankans were close to the finishing line, requiring seven runs from nine balls.

With the scores levelled in the penultimate over, it was as good as over for India as they dropped their fourth catch, this time Dhawan goofing up at mid-off.

India post 264/9

Sri Lankan spinners called the shots as they restricted India to 264/9 in 50 overs on a slow pitch.

India, sent into bat, were in control, reaching 175/2 in 35 overs. But in the final 15 overs, Sri Lankan bowlers took charge to upset India's plans of posting a score in excess of 300.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan (94) missed out on a century by 6 runs and captain Virat Kohli hit 48. It was all going India's way when they were in the middle. But Kohli's dismissal and a combination of irresponsible shots pushed India back.

Ajantha Mendis was the pick of Sri Lanka bowlers with 4/60 followed by offspinner Sachithra Senanayake's career-best figures of 3/41.

Eight of the nine wickets fell to spin at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium. Mohammed Shami's two sixes in the 49th over from Mendis carried India past 250. In the final 10, India managed 64 runs for four wickets.

Earlier, it was a quiet start from Indian openers Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. The run rate picked up after Kohli arrived at the crease.

Rohit was LBW to Senanayake for just 13. Dhawan and Kohli added 97 (17.1 overs) for the second wicket before the latter was bowled by Mendis' carrom ball.

Until then Kohli was in his usual superb touch. He was all set to strike another half century but Mendis had other plans.

Ajinkya Rahane (22) - departed off the first ball after drinks break in the 36th over to Senanayake.

Dhawan (94, 114 balls, 7x4, 1x6), paid the price for attempting a cross-batted shot and was bowled by a straight ball from Mendis.

The unorthodox spinner sent back Dinesh Karthik with another carrom ball in the same over and India were 200/5 at the end of the 40th over.

It was a needless shot by Karthik, trying to pull. Ambati Rayudu (18) was also guilty of going for a big shot when half the side was back in the pavilion.

Stuart Binny, in his batting debut in second ODI, was removed by Senanayake for a four-ball duck. R Ashwin made a quick 16-ball 18 and Ravindra Jadeja remained unbeaten on 22 off 27. Bhuvneshwar Kumar collected a diamond duck. His was an unusual dismissal - stumped off a wide (0 off 0 balls).

Shami, at number 11, hit a 7-ball 14 not out with two big sixes.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews, who opened the bowling with Lasith Malinga, was off the field with an injury after sending down only 3.2 overs.

Toss Report

India were invited to bat first by Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews.

Mathews won the toss and opted to chase due to the slow nature of the pitch.

India made one change from their previous game, bringing in Stuart Binny for Varun Aaron. This second ODI for Binny after having made his debut against New Zealand, exactly a month ago - January 28, in Hamilton. In that game, he did not get to bat and bowled just the one over for eight runs.

Sri Lanka brought in Ajantha Mendis in place of Suranga Lakmal. They have three spinners in the Playing XI.

"The wicket looks pretty slow today, so we want to bowl first," said Mathews at the toss. The skipper also spoke of the dew factor which would come in later.

India captain Virat Kohli too said he too wanted to bowl first. "We would have liket to bowl first too."

India won their opening match against Bangladesh by six wickets. Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 12 runs.


Story first published:  Friday, February 28, 2014, 13:11 [IST]
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