Fatullah - Kumar Sangakkara has hit a brilliant 103 as Sri Lanka survived anxious
moments to overcome India by two wickets in a thrilling last-over finish
Friday, securing their second win in the Asia Cup.
was set up by spinners Ajantha Mendis and Sachithra Senanayake, who
shared seven wickets to restrict the reigning world champions to 264-9
in the day-night match in Fatullah.
But Sri Lanka lost wickets at
regular intervals and were reduced to 216-7 in the 44th over when
Thisara Perera helped Sangakkara add 42 crucial runs for the eighth
Left-handed Sangakkara, who hit 12 boundaries and a six in
his 18th one-day century, fell in the penultimate over when just seven
runs were needed for victory.
But Mendis and Perera saw Sri Lanka
through with four deliveries to spare in a nail-biting finish, giving
their team a second win after they beat Pakistan in the tournament
India, who won against Bangladesh, must defeat arch-rivals
Pakistan in Dhaka on Sunday to stay in contention for a place in the
Sangakkara, a 36-year-old veteran of 366 one-day matches, said India did well to make the game a close affair.
dew on the ground made it a lot easier for me," he said. "My job was to
stay there for as long as possible and stay competitive. I think
handling pressure comes with experience.
"It was a great team effort. It's been a few good months for me. I've worked hard on my fitness and the experience counts."
- Nailbiting finish -
Shikhar Dhawan scored 94 as India, sent in to bat, moved to 175-2 in 35
overs before losing five wickets for 40 runs to slide to 215-7.
Big hitting by the lower order, including two sixes by last man Mohammed Shami off Mendis, lifted India past the 250-run mark.
who replaced seamer Suranga Lakmal for the match, justified his
selection with four for 60, including the key scalps of Dhawan and
stand-in captain Virat Kohli.
Off-spinner Senanayake finished with
his best one-day figures of three for 41 as the Indians struggled
against the turning ball on the slow wicket.
Kohli, leading India
in the absence of the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, put on 97 for the
second wicket with Dhawan after Rohit Sharma had been trapped leg-before
by Senanayake for 13.
Kohli praised his bowlers for taking the match till the last over, despite the dew which made it tough to grip the ball.
think the bowlers did a good job," he said. "There was a lot of dew
towards the end. But we could have been smarter with our batting and
added 25-30 runs more.
"We have to now pull up our socks and rectify the areas in which we are not good."
Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne gave Sri Lanka a flying start with an
80-run partnership for the first wicket by the 18th over.
Ravichandran Ashwin removed both openers, trapping Thirimanne
leg-before for 38 and then having Kusal Perera caught behind for 64.
bounced back strongly when left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja dismissed
Mahela Jayawardene and Dinesh Chandimal with consecutive deliveries to
reduce Sri Lanka to 148-4 in the 32nd over.
Seamer Mohammad Shami
trapped skipper Angelo Mathews leg-before and had Senanayake caught at
mid-wicket, before Jadeja got rid of Chaturanga de Silva as Sri Lanka
slumped to 216-7 before their final push.
Afghanistan will take on hosts Bangladesh in the next match in Fatullah on Saturday.