India beat Sri lanka in thriller, lead series 2-0 (Lead)

February 1st, 2009 - 1:18 am ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Jan 31 (IANS) India snatched a thriller beating Sri Lanka by 15 runs in the second One-Day International here Saturday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.Chasing 257 under lights, Sri Lanka were all out for 241 runs with Thilina Kadamby remaining not out with a fighting 93 - not enough to help his team level the series at the Premadasa Stadium.

The match went down to the wire with Sri Lanka needing 20 runs from the final over but Praveen Kumar kept his nerves and wrapped up the innings with four balls to spare as India registered a seven-match winning streak.

It wasn’t a tough target to chase but Sri Lanka failed to recover from a poor start and couldn’t get a good partnership. Ishant Sharma was the best Indian bowler and wrecked the Sri Lankan batting with his four for 57 and was also adjudged the Man of the Match.

After the top-order collapsed by the eighth over with the innings hanging at 3-36, captain Mahela Jayawardene (52) and Kadamby played some sensible knocks to repair the innings with their 100-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

But after Jayawardene fell, barring Chamara Kapudagera (31), Kadamby hardly got any support from the other end and soon ran out of partners.

Earlier, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag helped India post 256 for nine.

Sehwag gave the team an excellent start and butchered the Sri Lankan attack with his 26-ball 42 while Yuvraj rebuilt the innings with a composed 66 after Mahendra Singh Dhoni elected to bat.

After Sachin Tendulkar’s (6) early dismissal, given leg before to a delivery that was going down the leg side, Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir (27) added 49 runs in quick time.

Having missed the first match in Dambulla due to a hip injury, Sehwag’s intentions were clear right from the start. He set the tone of his innings by square driving the second ball for four.

Gambhir also joined him soon and both the Delhi batsmen seemed to be engaged in a duel to outclass each other. In the first two overs he faced, Gambhir pulled and drove both Nuwan Kulasekara (2-61) and Thilan Thushara for easy boundaries.

It looked as if India were on sight for a big total. But an unfortunate run out cut-short Sehwag’s knock and Farveez Maharoof (2-40) picked up Gambhir caught behind by Kumar Sangakkara to apply the brakes on India’s innings.

Yuvraj and Suresh Raina (29) then added 85 runs for the fourth wicket. Yuvraj made an erroneous start by edging Ajantha Mendis (2-44) ball between Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene on 18.

But slowly, Yuvraj found his touch and hit some cracking boundaries. The most spectacular was a huge six off Mendis over long-off.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, despite being hit by Raina for a six, foxed the batsman in the same over with an extra bounce to claim his wicket. Yuvraj fell to Kulasekara, trapped leg before wicket.

Dhoni (23) and Yusuf Pathan (21) failed to get the innings going and could not take the team to a bigger total.

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