Maharoof Hat-Trick Helps Set Up Easy Sri Lanka Win

Sri Lanka 211-3 (Sangakkara 73, Jayawardene 53no) beat
India 209 (Sharma 69, Maharoof 5-42) by seven wickets
Asia Cup game six, Dambulla


Pacer Farveez Maharoof took a hat-trick before half-centuries from Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene guided Sri Lanka to a comfortable seven-wicket win over India in the final group game of the 2010 Asia Cup in Dambulla.

Sri Lanka took four wickets in four balls as they bowled India out for 209 and Sri Lanka eased to their victory target inside 38 overs to finish with a perfect record in the group stage.

Maharoof, recalled to the squad for the tournament, dismissed Ravi Jadeja, Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan, all without scoring at the beginning of the 39th over after Mahendra Singh Dhoni had been run out from the last ball of the 38th.

India had been making good progress after they were invited to bat by Sri Lanka in a match that is a dress rehearsal for Thursday's final.

Dinesh Karthik, making his first appearance since being drafted in as a replacement for the injured Virender Sehwag, stroked 40 and Dhoni made 41 in 53 balls.

Rohit Sharma held things together with an aggressive 69 in 73 balls with seven fours and he was eventually run out - the last man to fall - by Mahela Jayawardene in just the 43rd over.

Maharoof, who had already had Virat Kohli (10) caught by Sangakkara, became the third Sri Lankan after Chaminda Vaas (who achieved the feat twice) and Lasith Malinga to take a hat-trick in a One-Day International when Jadeja was trapped in front, Kumar was bowled and Khan edged to Sangakkara.

Maharoof then completed figures of five for 42 in ten overs by bowling Ashok Dinda for two and India's complete innings showed their top six batsmen managing to reach double figures before the remaining five all failed to do so.

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath also returned two for 31 and there was a wicket for Angelo Mathews.

In reply, Sri Lanka were given a flying start by Tillakaratne Dilshan, who made 24 in 16 balls by hitting four fours and a six and Khan's first over went for 15.

Dilshan departed in the sixth over when he was caught by Jadeja as Khan hit back, and the left-arm quick struck again to remove Dilshan's opening partner Upul Tharanga for 38 when he was caught by Dhoni behind the stumps.

Experienced pair Sangakkara and Jayawardene then put on 104 for the third wicket to remove any lingering hopes India had of salvaging the match.

Sangakkara stroked 73 in 82 balls with ten fours while Jayawardene was unbeaten on 53 in 67 balls with five fours and a six to guide Sri Lanka home with Thilina Kandamby alongside him on seven.

Maharoof's hat-trick was the 26th instance in ODI cricket since 1982, when Pakistan's Jalaluddin dismissed Australians Rod Marsh, Bruce Yardley and Geoff Lawson in Hyderabad.

© Cricket World 2010