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Monday, August 18, 2008

Sri Lanka cruise to eight-wicket win in first ODI

Sri Lanka cruised to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over India in the first one-day international on Monday.
Spinners Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan grabbed three wickets each to help dismiss India for 146 in 46 overs after the visitors had won the toss. Mendis took three for 21 and senior bowling partner Muralitharan three for 37.
India, missing in-form opening batsman Virender Sehwag due to injury, struggled from the start, with Yuvraj Singh the top-scorer with just 23.
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene guided his team to their modest victory target with 15.1 overs to spare, scoring 61 from 82 balls with seven boundaries.
Jayawardene shared an unbroken 102 run third-wicket partnership with Chamara Kapugedera, who scored 45 from 72 balls with four boundaries.
The pair steadied the innings after pace bowler Munaf Patel struck two early blows, reducing Sri Lanka to 45 for two.
Sanath Jayasuriya was caught by Irfan Pathan for 10 as he charged down the pitch and Kumar Sangakkara was caught and bowled for 19.
In the morning, left-arm swing bowler Chaminda Vaas struck in the first over, bowling Gautam Gambhir for a duck with a delivery that nipped back.
His new ball partner Nuwan Kulasekera trapped Virat Kohli leg before for 12. The former under-19 captain came into the side after Sehwag twisted his ankle in practice on Sunday.
Kulsekera also had Suresh Raina (17) caught at short cover by Chamara Silva, the batsman mistiming his drive on the slow-paced pitch to reduce India to 36 for three.
India hinted at a recovery with Yuvraj and Rohit Sharma (19) adding 37 for the fourth wicket but wickets tumbled once spin was introduced, with Mendis bowling Yuvraj in his first over.
Mendis also claimed the prize scalp of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (six), his counterpart Mahela Jayawardene taking a sharp catch at slip off an attempted cut.
Thilan Thushara, Sri Lanka's third seamer in a five-bowler line-up, then had Sharma caught at slip.
Muralitharan was fortunate to remove Irfan Pathan (seven), adjudged leg after playing a doosra delivery onto his pads, before he had Zaheer Khan (12) caught in the deep and dismissed Harbhajan Singh (12).
Pragyan Ohja (16 not out) and Munaf Patel (15) added 29 runs for the last wicket.

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