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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 August, 2004, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Sri Lanka win Asia Cup
Asia Cup final, Colombo:
Sri Lanka 228-9 beat India 203-9 by 25 runs

Tillakaratne Dilshan of Sri Lanka celebrates a wicket

India suffered the disappointment of defeat in another major final as Sri Lanka triumphed by 25 runs in the Asia Cup decider in Colombo.

Set 229 to win, India could manage just 203-9 with Sachin Tendulkar (74) the only batsman to put up a fight.

Upul Chandana returned 3-31 for the victorious home team, engineering a mid-innings collapse that saw four wickets fall for 44 runs.

Fifties to Marvan Atapattu and Kumar Sangakkara had given Sri Lanka 228-9.

India have now lost 10 of 13 one-day finals under skipper Sourav Ganguly, with last year's World Cup defeat to Australia another heartache.

Atapattu and Sangakkara added 116 runs in what proved to be a key third-wicket stand after the hosts, who won the toss, had stumbled to 31-2 early on.

Kumar Sangakkara and Rahul Dravid
Opposing keepers Sangakkara and Dravid had contrasting games

Skipper Atapattu made 65 off 87 balls and Sangakkara 53 off 82, while Irfan Pathan and Tendulkar took two wickets each for India.

Sanath Jayasuriya, who stroked a wonderful 130 in that game, fell for 15 when trapped lbw by Pathan.

Avishka Gunawardene soon followed, caught by Ganguly off Ashish Nehra for eight.

But Atapattu and Sangakkara steadied home nerves with a solid partnership.

Neither batsman scored with great freedom, as a run-rate of barely four suggests, but the stand laid a foundation for later in the innings.

Sangakkara's effort, which included six boundaries, was over when Sehwag levelled his stumps in the 33rd over, the first of seven wickets to fall for 72 runs.

India celebrated again seven balls later when Tendulkar had Mahela Jayawardene caught by Yuvraj Singh for a six-ball duck, reducing the hosts to 150-4.

The run-out of Atapattu six overs later left Sri Lanka bereft of hitting options at the death.

Although Tillakaratne Dilshan chipped in with 22, he received no tailend support as four late wickets fell for 25 runs.

Opening pacemen Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa put India on the back foot early, removing Sehwag and Ganguly respectively to reduce the visitors to 26-2.

VVS Laxman (12) and Rahul Dravid (16) got starts, but when Dilshan pouched both of them India slumped to 96-4 just past halfway.

All the while Tendulkar was keeping the score ticking over, but Sri Lanka kept their noses in front when Chandana removed Singh (bowled) Mohammad Kaif (caught).

India's hopes faded to nothing when Tendulkar followed next, bowled by Dilshan with 89 still needed from 10.4 overs.

Although Zaheer Khan (29 not out off 24 balls) threw the bat at the death, India were never likely challengers.

Sri Lanka: ST Jayasuriya, DA Gunawardene, MS Atapattu (capt), KC Sangakkara, DPMD Jayawardene, TM Dilshan, UDU Chandana, MF Maharoof, WPUJC Vaas, M Muralitharan, DNT Zoysa.

India: SR Tendulkar, V Sehwag, SC Ganguly (capt), VVS Laxman, R Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, M Kaif, IK Pathan, Z Khan, Harbhajan Singh, A Nehra.


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