Mahela fashions SL victory

Dambulla, August 3:

Mahela Jayawardene smashed an aggressive 94 not out to help Sri Lanka bounce back from the brink and clinch a four-wicket victory against India in a limited-over tri-series.

Chasing India’s modest 220 for eight from 50 overs, Sri Lanka slipped to 95/6 before Jaya-wardene’s unbroken 126-run eighth-wicket partnership with Upul Chandana (45 not out) spurred it to 221/6 in 48 overs.

Defeat was staring Sri Lanka in the face before Jayawardene unleashed his strokeplay that stunned the accurate Indian attack and clinched Sri Lanka its third straight win. India has won one match and lost two, while the West Indies have suffered defeats in both games.

Jayawardene struck one six and nine boundaries from 114 deliveries, while Chandana’s 62-ball knock contained four hits to the fence.

Skipper Marvan Atapattu (29) was the only top-order batsman to make a useful contribution.

Jayawardene’s brilliant knock stole Indian batsman Sourav Ganguly’s thunder after he became only the third player in the world to cross the 10,000-run milestone in one-dayers.

Ganguly posted a composed 51, making the 10,000-run milestone in 272 ODIs when he reached 33, before spinner Till-akaratne Dilshan tore through the Indian middle order with a career-best 4-29. Ganguly joi-ned India’s Sachin Tendulkar (13,632) and Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq (10,933) as the only players to pass 10,000 runs. Ganguly shared partnerships of 67 for the first wicket with Virender Sehwag (32) and 50 with VVS Laxman (22) for the second before Dilshan triggered a batting collapse.