Sunday, February 18, 2007

India slay Sri Lanka ahead of World Cup

Blog Report
Yuvraj Singh came up with a pugnacious knock of 95 not out to guide India to a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final one-dayer on Saturday and help seal the the series in favour of hosts 2-1.
Earlier, Chamara Silva hit an unbeaten 107 to shore up Sri Lankan innings to 259 for seven in the 47-overs-a-side game after the start was delayed because of dew on the ground.
Yuvraj shared in an unbroken 145-run fourth wicket partnership with Sourav Ganguly, who was 58 not out, to as the hosts cruised to 263 for three in 41 overs.
Yuvraj, who coming back after suffering a knee ligament tear in October, played brute shots against a listless Sri Lankan bowling attack on a pitch that favoured batsmen.
Ganguly who struck his second half-century of the four-matchwas declared the man-of-the series .
The 21-year-old Robin Uthappa logged 52 from 37 balls to give India a blazing start to their run chase.
Opener Virender Sehwag made 46.
Sehwag was run out to a direct hit by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara at the non-striker's end as he walked to complete a single but Yuvraj and Ganguly then took over.
Sri Lanka fought back in the match thanks to Silva's gutsy batting.
The 27-year-old, playing in only his 14th match since his debut in 1999, revived Sri Lanka after Indian pacers led by Ajit Agarkar's double strike reduced them to 56 for four in the 13th over.
Silva added 68 runs for the fifth wicket with Tillakaratne Dilshan (28), 41 for the next with Russel Arnold (22) before putting on a racy 64 runs for the seventh wicket with Farveez Maharoof (28).
Sri Lanka plundred 76 runs in last seven overs with Silva going after off spinner Harbhajan Singh and then scoring freely against pacemen Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth.
Silva, declared man of the match, had been out of favour until a strong return on the New Zealand tour late last year, where he hit 152 not out in the second test at Wellington to help level the series 2-2.
The series win will act as a catalyst for India ahead of the World Cup starting in West Indies on March 13.
Both India and Sri Lanka are in Group B with Bangladesh and Bermuda.

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