Colombo, August 9:
Mehela Jayawardene and Sanath Jayasuriyaâ€™s aggressive half-centuries spurred Sri Lanka to an 18-run victory against India in the final of the limited-overs tri-series. Opener Jayasuriya completed 10,000 runs in one-dayers during his attacking 67 and Jayawardene smashed the top score of 83 as Sri Lanka posted an imposing 281/9 from 50 overs. In reply, India could only muster 263/9 despite skipper Rahul Dravidâ€™s composed 69 leading a strong chase that fell apart as it lost five wickets in the space of 25 runs. Jayawardene and Russel Arnold (64) put a brisk fifth-wicket partnership of 125 from 117 deliveries to put Sri Lanka in a formidable position despite a six-wicket burst from left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra (6 for 59). Jayasuriya smashed nine boundaries from 77 balls to lead Sri Lankaâ€™s charge with his 58th half-century.
Jayasuriya and Jayawardene added 55 runs for the third wicket before Jayasuriya ran himself out going for the second run. He was beaten to the crease by Harbhajan Singhâ€™s throw from the fine-leg boundary. Returning to the attack, Nehra had Jayawardene caught by Mohammad Kaif at short fine-leg and Arnold was run out by Sourav Gangulyâ€™s direct hit at the non-strikerâ€™s
Indiaâ€™s chase got off to a flying start, amassing 61 runs in the first six overs as opener Sehwag slammed one six and nine boundaries in his 22-ball 48. Sehwag blasted fast bowler Lokuhettige for 26 runs in his first over, smashing the six deliveries for five boundaries and a six. Ganguly then put on 42 runs for the second wicket with Dravid, who along with Yuvraj Singh (42) put together a third-wicket stand of 84 and India was cruising at 186/2, but its title hopes perished as Yuvraj Singh top-edged a sweep shot against Upul Chandana to be caught by Lokuhettige on the fence.