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India beat Sri Lanka to reach triangular series final

One-day international, Dhaka: India 214-2 (32.4 ovs) bt Sri Lanka 213 (46.1 ovs) by eight wickets

Virat Kohli
The prolific Kohli made his debut in August 2008

India will face Sri Lanka in the triangular series final in Dhaka on Wednesday after beating the Sri Lankans by eight wickets with 104 balls left.

Sri Lanka opted to bat but lost Upul Tharanga, who scored a century in their previous match, for a fourth ball duck.

Kumar Sangakkara hit nine fours in his 68 but Sri Lanka were all out for 213.

India raced to 89 by the 12th over, and Gautam Gambhir hit 10 fours in his 71, with Virat Kohli firing 71 not out as they sealed victory in the 33rd over.

They will now play a dead rubber against Bangladesh on Monday before Wednesday's finale.

Sangakkara had always chosen to field first in the previous games - all day/night fixtures - to avoid bowling with a ball covered in dew, but having safely qualified for the final he decided to give his side experience of defending a total when he won the toss for the fourth time in succession.

Tharanga edged 22-year-old seamer Sudeep Tyagi to first slip but Tillakaratne Dilshan hit two fours in both of the next two overs and then struck three in a row off Tyagi.

He raced to 33 from just 16 balls but then attempted to angle one to the vacant third man boundary off left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan and was caught at fly slip.

This was easily our best effort in the field in the last 12 months

Mahendra Dhoni

Four wickets soon went down for 24 runs in barely nine overs, and after Sangakkara top-edged a rank long hop from Yuvraj Singh to mid-wicket to become the seventh Sri Lankan wicket to fall, the innings quickly petered out.

Gambhir and Dinesh Karthik got the Indian reply off to an excellent start with boundaries in each of the opening 10 powerplay overs, and 15 fours were recorded in that period.

Gambhir was dropped on 41 by Dilshan at cover and again two overs later on 43 when Tharanga spilled another fairly routine chance having run in from the mid-wicket fence.

The left-hander was finally dismissed when he went through his shot too early and got a leading edge to mid-on, but Kohli hit the next two balls for four and later struck four fours in an over off seamer Suranga Lakmal.

India's comprehensive victory maintained the trend of the team batting second winning every match in the tournament.


Sangakkara, who recorded his 54th one-day international half century, was disappointed with the way his side surrendered their 100% record in the competition.

"We had to learn something, but I don't think we learnt much," he said.

"Luckily, it's not the final and hopefully we can take something out of this experience and prepare ourselves better.

"We did not have a predetermined total in mind; we were looking to take things as they came, play each over on merit and not get ahead of ourselves.

"But our batting effort wasn't much to speak of. We have got to assess conditions, look to score runs and build partnerships.

"We have to make sure we are positive and focus on the task at hand rather than be worried about what the opposition or the batsman at the non-striker's end is doing.

"We know we are a much better team than this effort suggests, but we have a lot of hard work to do."

Counterpart Mahendra Dhoni, by contrast, was in buoyant mood and said: "This was easily our best effort in the field in the last 12 months.

"Zaheer was superb with the ball and it was an excellent effort from Tyagi as well considering he is playing only his second ODI.

"We will take the final when it comes, but for now we are looking to concentrate on Monday's game."

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see also
Sri Lanka beat Tigers in Mirpur
08 Jan 10 |  Cricket
Dhoni ton leads India to victory
07 Jan 10 |  Cricket
Sri Lanka ease to win over India
05 Jan 10 |  Cricket
Dilshan inspires Sri Lankan win
04 Jan 10 |  Cricket
India & Sri Lanka in Bangladesh 2010
27 Jan 10 |  Cricket

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