Wednesday 20 August 2008 

India Bounce Back With Three-Wicket Win In Dambulla

India bounced back to level their One Day International series against Sri Lanka with a three-wicket win in the second match in Dambulla.

They took advantage of winning the toss to bowl the hosts out for 142 but they were made to work hard for their runs by Sri Lanka, for whom Thilan Thushara took two for 22.

India closed on 143 for seven with Subramaniam Badrinath (27) and Zaheer Khan (two) the unbeaten batsmen.

Earlier, excellent bowling from Praveen Kumar (3-34) and Zaheer (4-21) reduced Sri Lanka to 11 for four as Kumar Sangakkara (two), Mahela Jayawardene (two), Chamara Kapugedera (nought) and Chamara Silva (nought) all fell cheaply.

The explosive left-hander Sanath Jayasuriya managed just 13 before Zaheer had him trappe in front and when Tillakaratne Dilshan was caught by Subramaniam Badrinath off of Irfan Pathan for 16, Sri Lanka needed their lower order batsmen to rescue them.

Nuwan Kulasekera, with 25, and Thushara, who scored a personal best of 44, added 74 for the seventh wicket before Harbhajan Singh, with two for 26, wrapped up the innings despite some late hitting from Dilhara Fernando (12) and Muttiah Muralitharan (11 not out).

Thushara's 44 included seven fours.

Kulasekera (2-26) then had Irfan Pathan caught behind by Sangakkara for five and Suresh Raina (one) trapped in front to leave India on 17 for two at lunch but a composed innings of 37 from youngster Virat Kohli and a more brutal 20 from Yuvraj Singh put India back on track.

Ajantha Mendis had Yuvraj trapped in front before Thushara returned to pick up two wickets in an over to remove Kohli, caught by Kapugedera and Rohit Sharma, trapped in front for a duck to leave the match in the balance.

Captain Dhoni combined with Badrinath to add a priceless, nerveless half-century stand to take India to the brink of victory and the winning run was hit by Badrinath shortly after Dhoni was bowled by Fernando for 39 and Harbhajan was trapped in front by Mendis for one.

Badrinath made his debut as Gautam Gambhir missed out and Pragyan Ojha was replaced by Kumar. Sri Lanka recalled Fernando with Chaminda Vaas not playing.

Sri Lanka won the opening game in the five-match series by eight wickets.

© Cricket World 2008

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