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Muralitharan equals Akram’s record of 502 wickets:

India take unassailable 3-0 lead, beat Lanka by 147 runs

Two brilliant centuries from opener Virender Sehwag 116 and Yuvraj Singh 117 helped India beat Sri Lanka by 147 runs and take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the 5 match one day series at the R. Premadasa Stadium under lights yesterday.

In reply to India’s 363 for 5 in 50 overs, Sri Lanka could manage only 216 in 41.4 overs.

From Sri Lanka’s point of view the only joy was the equalling of Wasim Akram’s world one-day bowling record of 502 wickets by Muttiah Muralitharan.

When the Lankans began their chase for victory and to stay alive in the series, it was paramount that openers Tillekeratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya lay a solid platform if the Indian total was to be surpassed and victory achieved.

But that was not to be. In the first ball of the second over bowled by Praveen Kumar disaster struck when Jayasuriya dragged a ball on to his wicket before scoring and that was the beginning of the end for Sri Lanka.

After Dilshan went for 31 with the score on 51, Vice captain Kumar Sangakkara and captain Mahela Jayawardena put on 67 for the third wicket before Jayawardena went for 30 and then Sri Lanka lost Tilina Kandamby for 10, Chamara Kapugedera for 2, Farveez Maharoof for 22, Sangakkara for 83, Muralitharan without scoring, Kulasekera for 3 and Fernando run out for 19 and that was the end of the line for the Lankans. .

While wickets were falling around him, Kumar Sangakkara stood tall to make a nicely compiled 83 with 9 fours but to no avail. Left arm spinner Ohja had 4 for 39 in his 10 overs.

The teams meet again in the 4th one-dayer tomorrow at the same venue under lights. India’s score is a new ground record at this stadium beating the previous best of 319 for 5 made by Pakistan against Bangladesh in 1997.

Conditions were ideal for cricket when the two captains walked out to toss. Mahela Jayawardena’s longing to win a toss did not materialize this time too and Mahendra Singh Dhoni sported a contended smile when the coin turned in his favour and he did not have any hesitation in batting first for the third time.

The Indians were off to a bad and unfortunate start when Sachin Tendulkar was once again ruled out LBW by umpire Gamini Silva for 7 with the score on 9. TV replays showed the ball going down the leg side and it was not a happy Tendulkar who left the field. Dilhara Fernando was the bowler who received the benevolence of the umpire.

Then Gautum Gambhir who came in next was run out backing up too much as a drive from Sehwag touched bowler Fernando’s hand and went on to hit the stumps. Gambhir made 10.

The most exciting cricket was seen when Yuvraj Singh joined Sehwag. Yuvraj probably angered by the poor decision that went against him in the previous game, had his revenge smashing the ball to all corners of the park, in a wonderful exhibition of power hitting.

The usually dashing Sehwag had to play second fiddle and watch a masterful batting display by the left hander. But it was not before the usually belligerent Sehwag got his act on show.

Together they just pulverized, both pace and spin. This time round the pacemen Dilhara Fernando and Nuwan Kulasekera were not over pitching or bowling short, but they were being punished for not bowling line.

Singh was first to his 50 with 10 fours in 46 balls playing some exquisite cover drives and nicely placed lofted shots. Sehwag reached his 50 in 44 balls with 9 fours with some lovely drives and cut shots. They hoisted their 50- run stand in 43 balls, 100 in 74 balls, 150 in 112 balls and the 200 run stand in 155 balls.

There was nothing that Jayawardena could do to stop the flow of runs that was cascading from the bats of these two masters. Yuvraj Singh made his century which was is 11th in one-day internationals with 15 fours and one six in 82 balls. Sehwag was not long in getting to his three figure mark hitting 15 fours in 75 balls.

After a third wicket stand of 241, Yuvraj left when he played a tired looking attempted cover drive and lofted a catch to Jayawardena in the covers off Muralitharan which also helped the bowler equal Wasim Akram’s record of 502 wickets. He made 117.

Then Sehwag left being run out again for 116. Then Dhoni and Pathan made merry with an unbroken stand of 85 with Dhoni unbeaten on 35 and Pathan 59. There was nothing much to write about the bowlers, because they all took a good beating.


V. Sehwag run out						116
S. Tendulkar lbw b Fernando				  	  7
G. Gambhir run out						 10
Y. Singh c Kapugedera  b Muralitharan 				117
MS Dhoni not out						 35
S. Raina st Sangakkara b Mendis			  		  9
Y. Pathan not out						 59
EXTRAS (nb3, w7)						 10
TOTAL (for five wickets)					363
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-9 (Tendulkar), 2-24 (Gambhir), 3-245 (Yuvraj), 4-265 (Sehwag), 5-278 (Raina).
BOWLING: Kulasekara 10-0-68-0 (w1), Fernando 8-0-63-1 (nb3), Maharoof 7-0-68-0 (w3), 
Mendis 9-0-64-1 (w1), Muralitharan 10-0-60-1 (w2), Jayasuriya 6-1-40-0.


T. Dilshan b Zaheer					31
S. Jayasuriya b Kumar 				 	 0
K. Sangakkara c Yuvraj b Ojha				83
M. Jayawardene c Sehwag b Kumar				30
T. Kandamby c Yuvraj b Sehwag				10
C. Kapugedera b Ojha 				 	 2
F. Maharoof c Gambhir b Ojha 				22
N. Kulasekara c Tendulkar b Yuvraj 	 		 3
M. Muralitharan c Dhoni b Ojha 		 		 0
A. Mendis not out 				 	 8
D. Fernando run out					19
Extras: (lb3, w5)					 8
Total (all out)					   	216
Fall of wickets: 1-7 (Jayasuriya), 2-51 (Dilshan), 3-118 (Jayawardene), 4-132 (Kandamby), 
5-139 (Kapugedera), 6-184 (Maharoof), 7-189 (Sangakkara), 8-189 (Muralitharan), 9-189 (Kulasekara), 10-216 (Fernando).
Bowling: Zaheer 8-1-44-1 (w2), Kumar 7-0-41-2 (w2), Sharma 5-0-35-0, Ojha 10-0-38-4, 
Sehwag 7-0-30-1 (w1), Yuvraj 3.4-0-14-1, Tendulkar 1-0-11-0.



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