Gambhir, Dhoni help India pile up 332/5

February 5th, 2009 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Feb 5 (IANS) Gautam Gambhir stroked his to way to 150 before becoming Muttiah Muralitharan’s record 503rd wicket as India posted 332 for five against Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI here Thursday.India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who promoted himself at No.3, scored a flamboyant 94 and Suresh Raina remained unbeaten on 49 to put India in a commanding position at the Premadasa Stadium. India have already taken an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

After opting to bat, India suffered a set-back in the third over when Sanath Jayasuriya pulled off a brilliant diving catch to dismiss Virender Sehwag (5) off Nuwan Kulasekara.

With the new ball doing a bit, Dhoni and Gambhir played cautiously and relied on the singles. Sri Lanka fielded poorly that let them down despite the good work done by Farveez Maharoof and Kulasekara in the opening overs.

Gambhir and Dhoni put pressure on the fielders with their ferocious running before stepping on the pedal in the 20th over. The duo added 188 runs for the second wicket to build a strong platform for an onslaught for the lower order batsmen.

Dhoni was unfortunate not to get his fifth ODI hundred when he played a loose stroke off Jayasuriya and was caught by Fernando. Dhoni failed to make the most of the reprieve he got in the same over.

In the very next over, Kulasekara struck twice in successive deliveries by removing Yuvraj Singh (5) and Yusuf Pathan as India slumped to 4-207 from 2-202.

With wickets tumbling at the other end, Gambhir also started hitting ruthlessly with Raina as India scored 97 in the last 12 overs.

Muralitharan picked up Gambhir for his 503rd wicket as he surpassed former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram’s record of 502.

The 36-year-old Muralitharan is also the highest wicket-taker in Tests with 769 wickets from 125 matches.

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