Sangakkara, Jayawardene guide Sri Lanka to 238/6February 19th, 2008 - 3:30 pm ICT by admin
Adelaide, Feb 19 (IANS) A fluent century from Kumar Sangakkara propelled Sri Lanka to 238 for six in 50 overs after a poor start against India in the eighth one-day international of the Commonwealth Bank triangular series here Tuesday. Opting to bat first at the Adelaide Oval, openers Sanath Jayasuriya (0) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (4) faltered but Sangakkara and captain Mahela Jayawardene (71) played stellar knocks to help their side post a challenging total in an important match.
Both teams are in a must-win situation to stay alive in the series. The third team, hosts Australia, are already in the final.
It was widely-criticised Munaf Patel who gave India the first breakthrough, picking up Dilshan in the first over of the day and then effecting a run out in the third over to get rid of danger man Jayasuriya.
Munaf has been at the receiving end of former captain Sunil Gavaskar’s scathing remarks for his lethargic body language in India’s last match against Australia here Sunday.
But on Tuesday Munaf struck back with a good performance as he turned out to be the most disciplined bowler with one for 38 from nine overs including two maidens.
Munaf’s efforts reduced Sri Lanka to six for two by the third over but Sangakkara and Jayawardene stitched a valuable 153-run third-wicket partnership to bail their team out of the precarious situation.
The duo rebuilt the Sri Lankan innings with grit and determination and never gave a chance to the Indian bowlers, who looked like a tiring lot in their futile search for wickets.
The partnership was broken when Sangakkara’s drive clipped the fingers of Praveen Kumar and ricocheted onto the stumps, finding Jayawardene short on 71. The previous wicket had fallen the same way - Sangakkara’s straight shot glanced off Munaf’s hand and a half-asleep Jayasuriya was dawdling out of his crease.
Sangakkara was eventually caught on the boundary for 128 by Kumar off Irfan Pathan.
Chamara Silva chipped in with a valuable 21 in the end but it was Sangakkara’s day as he posted his first one-day century after a year.
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