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Rediff.com  » Sports » India crash out of tri-series after loss to Sri Lanka

India crash out of tri-series after loss to Sri Lanka

Last updated on: June 05, 2010 23:59 IST

- Scorecard: India vs Sri Lanka

A sloppy India crashed out of the tri-series after Sri Lanka, riding on Dinesh Chandimal's maiden century, thumped them by six wickets in a crucial One-dayer in Harare on Saturday.

Tottering on the brink of disaster after back-to-back defeats to Zimbabwe, India badly needed to win this match by a big margin to keep alive their final hopes, but could not pull off a repeat performance of their previous encounter with the Lankans and went down with 1.4 overs to spare.

Chandimal's 111 off 118-ball, which included six fours and five sixes, knocked the stuffing out of India's feeble bowling attack as Sri Lanka cruised to 270 for four in 48.2 overs.

Monday's Sri Lanka-Zimbabawe match is now rendered inconsequential and they will meet again in Wednesday's final at the same venue.

Earlier, put into bat, India posted 268 for nine, with Virat Kohli (68), Yusuf Pathan (44) and R Ashwin (38) scoring the bulk of the runs.

Desperate for a win, India effected three changes in the squad -- bringing in the uncapped trio of Naman Ojha, Pankaj Singh and R Ashwin while leaving out Murali Vijay, Umesh Yadav and Amit Mishra -- but victory remained elusive.

Sri Lanka's chase got off to a brisk start, with Tillakaratne Dilshan (21) looking in his element before he fell to Ashok Dinda in the sixth over.

Chandimal joined Upul Tharanga (27) in the middle and looked quite at ease against the Indian attack.

Even after Tharanga fell to R Ashwin, Chandimal continued the good work in the company of Chamara Kapugedera (42). He used his feet well against the spinners and never allowed the Indian bowlers to dictate terms.

Chandimal smote Pankaj Singh over mid-on, greeted Pragyan Ojha with a six and twice hit Ashwin out of the ground.

Ashwin eventually had Chandimal stumped in the 41st over, but, by then, the writing was on the wall for India.

Jeevan Mendis (35) and Thilan Samaraweera (28) completed the formality with consummate ease.

Earlier, Kohli curbed his aggressive instinct to score a 95-ball 68 on the low and slow Harare Sports Club wicket and shared a crucial 84-run third-wicket stand with Yusuf Pathan (44 balls) to take India beyond the 250 mark.

Kohli's innings was a struggle from the word go as he found boundaries hard to come by and dealt mostly in singles and twos.

Pathan, on the other hand, provided the acceleration from the other end with a brisk 41-ball innings during which he struck six fours and a huge six.

India had effected large-scale changes in the squad but there was no end to their opening woes as debutant Naman Ojha managed just one run in his ODI debut before Thilan Kulasekara trapped him plumb in front.

The other opener, Dinesh Karthik (27), looked in good nick and hit five delectable boundaries before Thissara Perera caught him off his own bowling.

Kohli and Pathan, promoted in the order, steadied the ship to guide India from 41 for two to 125 for three before Suraj Randiv removed Pathan in the 24th over.

Kohli continued the good work in company of in-form Rohit Sharma (32 off 40) and their association produced 46 runs before the India vice-captain fell to Thilan Thushara.

Rohit was inching close to his fifty when Randiv castled him, while captain Suresh Raina (19) and Ravindra Jadeja (19) could not capitalise on the starts they got and gave away their wickets.

Debutant R Ashwin, however, sparkled down the order with a 32-ball 38, in which he struck four boundaries and a six, as India crossed the 260-mark.

Left-arm pacer Thilan Thushara was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers with figures of three for 57 from his nine overs while off-spinner Suraj Randiv picked two crucial wickets for 38 from his quota of 10 overs.

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