Hattrick-man Mahroof sends India packing (Lead)

June 22nd, 2010 - 11:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Kumar Sangakkara Dambulla, June 22 (IANS) Sri Lanka sounded a warning to India before the final as they put up a commanding performance to beat the visitors by seven wickets in the inconsequential last league match of Asia Cup cricket tournament.
Sent in, the Indian batting collapsed like ninepins as they lost six wickets for 29 runs to be bowled out for 209 in just 42.3 overs. Sri Lankan pacer Farveez Mahroof (5-42) was the architect of India’s fall, taking a hat-trick in his five-wicket haul.

Sri Lanka raced to the target in 37.3 overs with Kumar Sangakkara (73) and Mahela Jayawardene (53 not out) knocking off the runs with ease. The duo added 104 runs for the third wicket.

Sangakkara’s innings was studded with 10 fours while Jayawardene struck five fours and a six.

India would be hugely disappointed with their batting performance and have a day in hand to sort out things before facing the hosts again in the final.

At one point, India were crusing toward a formidable total with Rohit Sharma (69) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (41) adding 79 runs for the fifth wicket. From 189 for four, India suddenly lost four wickets for no run with Mahrroof taking a hat-trick.

Dhoni was run out after a superb piece of fielding from Chamara Kapugedera, whose direct hit from the point found Dhoni short at the non-striker’s end.

Maharoof then trapped Ravindra Jadeja leg before wicket before dismissing Praveen Kumar who inside edged a ball onto his stumps.

Sangakkara took a diving one-handed catch off next batsman Zaheer Khan to hand Mahroof the hat-trick. Ashok Dinda also didn’t stay for long as he fell to Mahroof, leaving Sharma with the last man Pragyan Ojha.

Sharma struck two fours off Chanaka Welegedara, but was run out when he went for a two to shield Ojha.

Sri Lanka played freely right from the start and explosive opener Tillekaratne Dilshan hit Zaheer Khan for two boundaries and a six in his first over to set the tone.

Dilshan hit four fours and a six in his 16-ball 24 while Upul Tharanga played patiently for his 38 off 46 balls.

Zaheer, however, had some consolation as he got both the openers, before Sangakkara and Jayawardene guided the Sri Lankan innings.

Indian skipper Dhoni admitted that they have to work on some areas before the final.

“We got off to a decent start and we were looking at 270-run total, but Maharoof came on and turned it around completely. We did not have much chance after that. We have done well so far, batsmen have got runs.

“It would have been been nice to carry confidence into the final, but unfortunately that did not happen. We have to work on the areas where we can improve,” he said.

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