Sri Lanka End India's Winning Run In Colombo
Nuwan Kulasekara (left) was the pick of the bowlers once again for Sri Lanka.
©REUTERS/Buddhika Weerasinghe (SRI LANKA) Picture Supplied by Action Images
Sri Lanka 320-8 (Dilshan 97, Sangakkara 84, I Sharma 3-60) beat
India 252 (Yuvraj Singh 73, Dhoni 53, Kulasekara 2-33) by 68 runs
Scorecard | Ball-by-ball coverage
Fifth One Day International Colombo, India win the series 4-1
By Graham Wilson
Sri Lanka took a consolation victory in the fifth and final One Day International against India in Colombo, ending a young Indian side's unbeaten run of nine matches with a 68-run win.
Sri Lanka's batting finally came good as they posted an impressive 320 for eight and their bowlers were just as impressive in bowling India out for 252 in the penultimate over.
Tillakaratne Dilshan carved 97 in 117 balls and Kumar Sangakkara crashed 84 in 70 deliveries, the pair sharing a stand of 143 for the third wicket after Sanath Jayasuriya (37) had put on 65 in 10.1 overs with Dilshan.
India's bowers were put under pressure, with returning fast bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji only given five overs and debutant spinner Ravi Jadeja conceding 40 runs in six overs. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni called on nine men to bowl in all with only himself and Gautam Gambhir not turning their arms over.
They did get themselves back in the game when Thilina Kandamby (26), Mahela Jayawardene (1) and Chamara Kapugedera (0) fell in quick succession, Sri Lanka losing four wickets for one run after Sangakkara became the first of two wickets for Yuvraj Singh.
The innings was revived by some big hitting from Farveez Maharoof, who struck three fours and a six to make 32 in 23 balls while Thilan Thushara (11) and Nuwan Kulasekara (10) also chipped in.
Ishant Sharma came back strongly to finish with three for 60 while Yuvraj managed two for 39 in six overs.
Kulasekara, arguably Sri Lanka's player of the series, struck early in India's run chase to have both Gambhir (13) and Suresh Raina (0) caught behind by Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Thushara grabbed the big wicket of Virender Sehwag for six.
Despite India being 52 for three, this was no time to dig in and Yuvraj hit back with 11 fours and a six in a fine innings of 73 in 62 balls and he was offered support from Dhoni, who contributed 53 to keep India in with a chance after Rohit Sharma was caught by Kulasekara off of Maharoof for 15.
Yusuf Pathan was trapped in front by Muttiah Muralitharan for three and once Yuvraj, in the 22nd over, an Dhoni, in the 37th, fell to Muralitharan and Jayasuriya respectively, Sri Lanka had the game in their pocket.
Jadeja marked his debut with a tidy innings of 60 not out but he had in been left with too much to do and not enough time to do it. He became the 11th Indian to score a half-century on ODI debut.
Kulasekara also picked up four catches in all to round off an impressive performance and one with which the packed crowd at the R Premadesa Stadium deserved after two shockers from the home side last week.
Kulasekara, Maharoof, Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis all finished with two wickets.
The two sides meet again in a Twenty20 International on Tuesday - live commentary on Cricket World® Radio from 1330 GMT.
© Cricket World 2009
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