India drub Sri Lanka, level series

Updated: 25 August 2008 16:35 IST

India avenged the first ODI defeat against Sri Lanka and beat the hosts by three wickets in the second one-dayer at Dambulla.

New Dedlhi:

It was a great day for Indian sports fans. While wrestler Sushil Kumar won the Olympic bronze in Beijing, Indian cricket team beat Sri Lanka in the second ODI of the five-match series by three wickets.

With a splendid bowling display by pacers, spearheaded by Zaheer Khan, India had bundled Sri Lanka for 142 runs.

Defending that small target, Sri Lanka pacer Nuwan Kulasekara struck early to remove opener Irfan Pathan and Suresh Raina. Irfan, who opened the innings with Virat Kohli because Gautam Gambhir's absence, was caught behind for 5 runs. Suresh Raina, looking nothing like he was in the Asia Cup, was trapped in front of the middle stump and was give LBW out.

Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli consolidated India's innings and added 36 runs for the third wicket before the former was done by Mendis for 20 runs. Virat also fell after scoring 39 runs to Thilan Thushara. A delivery later, Rohit Sharma went without opening his account. MS Dhoni and S Badrinath took charge of the innings and added 60 runs for the sixth wicket. Dilhara Fernando, finally, dismissed Dhoni but by then India were almost home.

Earlier, Zaheer made life miserable for the Sri Lankans in their innings and picked four wickets. Electing to field first, Zaheer lived up to the expectations and bagged 'Man of the Match' prize. He very cleverly got rid of Kumar Sangakkara in the very first over. He swung the ball consistently outside the off stump. The last delivery of the over swung back in to stun Sangakkara for 2 runs.

Four overs later, he struck again and dismissed Mahela Jayawardene for two runs. A fuller delivery took a faint edge of Mahela's bat and went into the hands of Yuvraj Singh at first slip. The very next delivery saw Chamara Kapugedera walking back without scoring.

Praveen Kumar, who replaced Pragyan Ojha in this match, had kept the other end tight and soon reaped the benefit. Chamara Silva failed to play the delivery that landed on the middle stump and edged it to the Virat Kohli at point for zilch.

Tillakratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya tried to consolidate but on-song (or rather on-swing!) Zaheer broke that partnership. The ball cut in after landing on the off stump and hit Jayasuriya's pad to catch him plumb for 13 runs.

First change bowler, Irfan Pathan took cue from his senior pro and dismissed Tillakratne Dilshan for 16 runs. Dilshan pulled a short ball and debutant S Badrinath took a sensational diving catch to put an end to his outing.

After losing six wickets, Thilan Thushara (44) and Nuwan Kulasekara (25) put their heads down and consolidated the innings. They put on 74 runs for the seventh wicket before Praveen struck twice in the same over to remove the duo. Harbhajan Singh removed Ajantha Mendis with his return catch and Dilhara Fernando.

Topics : Cricket
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