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Sri Lanka clinch consolation win

Last updated on: February 08, 2009 18:36 IST

Sri Lanka clinched a consolation 68-run victory against India in the fifth and final one-day international in Colombo on Sunday to avoid a series whitewash.

Sri Lanka piled up 320 for eight with opener Tillakaratne Dilshan top-scoring with 97, then bowled out India for 252. India won the series 4-1.

Sri Lanka's bowlers, led by Nuwan Kulasekara (two for 42) and Muttiah Muralitharan (two for 41), produced their best display of the series.

In-form Yuvraj Singh provided some resistance with a powerful 73 but the Indian innings eventually ran out of steam.

Thilina Thushara struck first as Virender Sehwag (6) mishit a straight drive.

Kulasekara then followed up with the wicket of Suresh Raina, who was brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara standing up to the stumps.

Sangakkara also caught Gautam Gambhir (13) off Kulasekara to leave India in early trouble on 52 for three.

Yuvraj still attacked and the run rate remained high, but he was unable to build partnerships. Muralitharan swung the game decisively Sri Lanka's way as Yuvraj top-edged a sweep to be caught and bowled.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni kept India's hopes alive for a while with his run-a-ball 53 and all rounder Ravindra Jadeja impressed with 60 not out on debut, but Sri Lanka's slow bowlers squeezed the run rate to maintain the upper-hand.

Earlier, Dilshan top-scored with 97 from 117 balls with Sangakkara adding 84 as the pair provided the foundation for Sri Lanka's largest total of the series with a 143-run second-wicket partnership.

Home skipper Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and opted to bat, a decision that was justified as his line-up responded by dominating the India attack for the only time this series.

Dilshan's opening partner Sanath Jayasuriya helped give the innings a solid start with a rapid 37 in a 66-run first-wicket stand.

After Jayasuriya's cameo was ended by Irfan Pathan, Sangakkara maintained the momentum with a positive innings, using up just 70 balls for his 84 and hitting eight fours and a six.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni tried all his bowling options to make breakthroughs, using nine bowlers during the course of the innings.

He was able to engineer a late collapse with Ishant Sharma making a quick double-strike, bowling Thilina Kandamby for 26 and having Chamara Kapugedera caught behind for a duck.

Dilshan was run out just short of a deserved century and Jayawardene was caught at short cover for one.

During a frenzied passage of play in which India stormed back into the game, Sri Lanka lost four wickets for one run to teeter on 256-6 but all rounder Farveez Maharoof steered the hosts past 300 with a swashbuckling 32, hitting a six and three boundaries.

Sharma was the most successful of the Indian bowlers, finishing with three for 60 from his 10 overs.

Both teams made two changes in the final game, Sri Lanka recalling spinner Ajantha Mendis and fast bowler Thilina Thushara.

India gave a debut to promising all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and a first game in the series to pace bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji.

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