India defeat Lanka in a cliffhanger

Updated: 01 February 2009 09:57 IST

Rampaging India beat Sri Lanka by 15 runs in the second ODI in Colombo to lead the five-match series 2-0.


Rampaging India beat Sri Lanka in a cliffhanger by 15 runs to win second ODI in Colombo. India now lead the five-match series 2-0.

Pacer Ishant Sharma grabbed four wickets - Thushara (7), Maharoof (7), Kapugedera (31) and Jayasuriya (17) - and lifted 'Man of the Match' trophy.

Chasing a total of 257, Sri Lanka lost their top batting order in the form of Kumar Sangakkara (4), Sanath Jayasuriya (17) and Tillakratne Dilshan (8) in less than first ten overs of the second innings.

Dilshan was the first one to go when Indian pacer Zaheer Khan got the breakthrough while lanky Ishant Sharma removed Sanath Jayasuriya in his first over. Wicket-keeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara then joined Mahela Jayawardene to pump up the Lankan total.

Playing at 4, Kumar Sangakkara too could not sustain the rampaging Indian pace attack and became the third victim when he was sent back to pavilion by Praveen Kumar through Tendulkar's superb diving catch at the slips. Thilana Kandamby made his way in.

Kandamby (93*) smashed his half-century at a time when his side needed it the most. Hosts found much-needed patient knocks in Jayawardene and Kandamby who stitched 100-run partnership as a reprieve for their innings.

When situation seemed to be turning in Lanka's favour, skipper Mahela Jayawardene (52) gave away his wicket to spinner Pragyan Ojha and Yusuf Pathan took a neat catch to show the batsman way back to the pavilion.

Kapugedera replaced Jayawardene and his wicket gave a crucial breakthrough to India when the match seemed to be slipping away from their hands. He nicked the ball that landed in Dhoni's gloves. Ferveez Maharoof joined Kandamby who looked firm at 70.

Ishant Sharma's yorker did the trick for India as Maharoof (7) was shown door by the lanky pacer. Thilan Thushara (7) then came in to support Kandamby but was in vain as he too collapsed in front of Ishant's fierce attack.

The last three men Muttiah Muralitharan (3), Nuwan Kulasekara (1) and Ajantha Mendia (0) were run out in the late overs when Kandamby needed them to take Lanka home.

Earlier, electing to bat first, India too received early jolts to their batting line-up but managed to pile up 256 at the loss of nine wickets against the hosts.

The day began with veteran batsman Sachin Tendulkar (6) being the first one to go when Sri Lanka pacer Nuwan Kulasakera got the prized wicket in as early as third over of the match. Soon after India crossed 50-run mark with the help of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

Pacer Ferveez Maharoof removed Gambhir when he was playing at 27 and nicked a thick edge to wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara. Yuvraj Singh then took charge.

Sri Lanka found another breather when a ferocious looking Sehwag (42) fell short of his crease and another fifty after gifting his precious wicket to the hosts. In-form Suresh Raina came in next.

After losing top order batsmen, India crossed 100-run mark when Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina stiched 85-run partnership to get India past the three-digit mark.

Tilakratne Dilshan broke the efficient partnership when he got rid of Suresh Raina (29) at the short cover where Kapugedara took an easy catch. Skipper Dhoni then partnered Yuvraj Singh.

Soon after stylish Yuvraj Singh (66) completed his 38th ODI fifty, he was stunned by Kulasekara delivery and showed discontent with the decision. Yusuf Pathan replaced him to join MS Dhoni at the crease.

India crossed 200-run mark with India skipper MS Dhoni and all-rounder Yusuf Pathan constructing the innings cautiously. The visitors lost Pathan (21) when the all-rounder couldn't reach home in time.

To everyone's surprise, skipper Dhoni (23) nicked an edge to Sangakkara and without umpire's nod, decided to walk back from the field. Pacer Praveen Kumar then joined Zaheer Khan and both managed to add some crucial runs to the board to get India past 250-run mark.

Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis, once considered a threat to Indians, took the last two wickets of tailenders Praveen Kumar (15) and Zaheer Khan (17) when they struggled to hit shots over the boundary.

Last ODI match (February 8) of the series has been shifted from SSC to R Premadasa Stadium due to a defence exhibition scheduled there.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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