Jaipur ODI: India defeat SL by six wickets

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/a/apdhoni.jpg' class='caption'> A brilliant 183 from Mahendra Singh Dhoni has led India to a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the third one-day international in Jaipur today.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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A brilliant 183 from Mahendra Singh Dhoni has led India to a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the third one-day international in Jaipur. India crossed the target of 299 in just 46.1 overs, as Dhoni clobbered the tenth six of his innings to take the score to 303. The Indians now lead the seven-match series 3-0. The 24-year-old wicketkeeper's blitzkrieg delighted spectators at the packed Sawai Mansingh stadium. He was chosen Man of the Match for his brilliant knock, which is the highest ever by any wicketkeeper. The action will now shift to Pune, where the teams meet for the fourth one-dayer on November 3. Outstanding display It was yet another outstanding display by India, under more adverse circumstances than the previous two matches. The hosts remained focused despite an intimidating total from Sri Lanka. For the first time in the series, the Lankans seemed to be in a favourable position thanks to Kumara Sangakkara's heroic, career-best effort of 138. But the Sri Lankan wicketkeeper was totally outdone by his Indian counterpart. Dhoni smashed ten sixes and 15 boundaries, shattering Lanka's hopes in the process. He went past his previous best of 148, recorded against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam earlier this year. The 24-year-old Jharkhand keeper's unbeaten 183 equals the second highest score by an Indian after Sachin Tendulkar's 186 against New Zealand at Hyderabad in 1999, matching Sourav Ganguly's 183 against Sri Lanka in Taunton in 1999. Dhoni's 10 sixes are the most by any Indian in an innings. Disastrous start Earlier, the Indian response to Sri Lanka's innings began disastrously, when Tendulkar was out in the very first over to Chaminda Vaas for just two runs. Chasing a delivery outside the off-stump, Tendulkar ended up offering a catch to Sangakkara. Dhoni and Sehwag then put on 92 runs off 85 balls for the second wicket, before Sehwag was trapped leg before wicket by Vaas for 39. But Dhoni was unstoppable, racing to his 50 off just 40 balls, and proceeded to put on 86 runs in partnership with Rahul Dravid. The Indian captain scored 28 off 34 before being caught and bowled by Muralitharan. Sangakkara shines Earlier, a steady century by Kumara Sangakkara placed the Sri Lankans in a favourable position, with the visitors scoring 298 for 4 in their allotted 50 overs. Sangakkara remained unbeaten on 138. He became the third Sri Lankan batsman to bat through an innings, after Roshan Mahanama and Marvan Atapattu. The Sri Lankan's 138 came off just 147 balls, and included two sixes and thirteen boundaries. Mahela Jayawardene also chipped in with a valuable 71, allowing the duo to build up a third wicket partnership of 150 runs. Wickets tumble Sri Lanka lost two wickets after captain Marvan Atapattu won the toss and elected to bat first, on a wicket that was expected to favour batsmen. The Lankan openers began well, but Ajit Agarkar struck in the sixth over as Sanath Jayasuriya (15) nicked the inside edge on to the stumps. Atapattu followed to put up a partnership of over 40 runs with Sangakkara, but was out for 17 when he was caught behind by Dhoni off J P Yadav. Jayawardene then joined Sangakkara at the crease, hitting 10 boundaries during his innings of 71 runs off just 70 deliveries. But he was caught by Virender Sehwag while trying to lob an Agarkar delivery towards the boundary. Tilekeratne Dilshan, who came in next, was unable to settle down and was trapped leg before wicket by Sehwag for just three runs. Winning combination India retained the same side which won the first two one-day internationals in Nagpur and Mohali. Suresh Raina was picked as Supersub. Upal Chandana was named the Supersub for the Lankans. India left out Gautam Gambhir, R P Singh and S Sreesanth from the squad. Before the match began, both teams observed a one-minute silence for the victims of Saturday's bomb blasts in Delhi. Teams: India: Rahul Dravid (c), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Y Venugopal Rao, Jai Prakash Yadav, M S Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ajit Agarkar, Murali Kartik. Supersub: Suresh Raina. Sri Lanka: Marwan Atapattu (c), Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Russel Arnold, Chaminda Vaas, Ferveez Mahroof, Muttiah Muralitharan, Thilan Samaraweera, Dilhara Fernando Supersub: Upul Chandana.
(With PTI inputs)

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