In key match, Praveen, Ishant bowl out Sri Lanka for 179

February 26th, 2008 - 11:15 am ICT by admin  

Hobart, Feb 26 (IANS) Pacer Praveen Kumar took his career-best four for 31 and Ishant Sharma also bagged a four-wicket haul to bowl out Sri Lanka for 179 in 47.1 overs in the 11th match of Commonwealth Bank triangular series here Tuesday, a virtual semi-final in the ongoing triangular series, with Australia assured of a place in the finals. Praveen bagged his first wicket, the prized scalp of Kumara Sangakkara (33, 42 balls, 4×4s), and went on to dismiss captain Mahela Jayawardene (3), Chamara Silva (0) and Muttiah Muralitharan (13) to hasten the fall of Sri Lanka after they were put in to bat by toss-winning India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The Uttar Pradesh bowler, playing only his third One-Day International (ODI), finished with figures of 10-2-31-4.

Praveen’s pace partner Ishant, the find of the ongoing tour, bagged his second four-wicket haul. Chamara Kapugedera of Sri Lanka was the top scorer with a fine 57 (86 balls, 4×4s) - the lone half-century of the innings.

The match is a virtual semi-final. A win for India will ensure that they will challenge Australia in the best-of-three finals next month. Sri Lanka, if they defeat India in this match, will also need to win their last league match against Australia to make it to the finals.

Sanath Jayasuriya (34, 44 balls, 2×4s, 1×6) and Sangakkara chipped in with useful contributions, but crucially, the rest of the batsmen failed in the do or die match for Sri Lanka.

After lanky Ishant castled opener Dilruwan Perera cheaply, Sangakkara and former captain Jayasuriya joined hands to add 57 for the second wicket. They batted for 10.5 overs and also scored at a good rate of 5.26 runs per over.

But then left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan added to Sri Lanka’s miseries by inducing an edge from the dangerous Jayasuriya to wicket-keeper Dhoni as he tried to play the hook. It was Dhoni’s 100th career catch in his 104th ODI.

After that, only Kapugedera withstood the Indian onslaught and was involved in two good partnerships towards the end of the innings.

He and Lasith Malinga (12) defied the Indian bowlers for 13 overs to add 46 for the eighth wicket and then the 21-year-old right-hander added a crucial 40 for the ninth wicket with Muralitharan that made the total look somewhat respectable.

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