Dilshan leads Sri Lanka to victory
Sri Lanka defeat India by eight wickets in Australia.
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2008 19:03 GMT

Tillakaratne Dilshan gets Sri Lanka off to a great
start [AFP]
Tillekaratne Dilshan's unbeaten 62 and his rapid fire opening stand with Sanath Jayasuriya helped Sri Lanka to an eight-wicket win over India in a rain-interrupted limited-overs international in Canberra, Australia.

It was Sri Lanka's first win in the tri-series competition that also includes Australia.

Dilshan guided the World Cup finalists to 154 for two from 19 overs, attaining the rain-revised target with two overs to spare at Manuka Oval.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma hit a career-best 70 not out to lead India to 195-5 from 29 overs after the start was delayed by 3 1/2 hours because of rain.

The win gives Sri Lanka six points from three matches, two points behind India and one behind Australia.

"It was a crucial game for us,'' Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene said.

"We needed to show character. I thought the guys did show character today and fought really well.

"We managed to keep them to a decent score and the chase was well-calculated so credit to the guys for the way they handled themselves today.''

Flying start

Jayasuriya started the chase quickly, belting 27 from 13 balls including two 6s and two boundaries until he was caught behind off Ishant Sharma on the next-to-last ball of the fourth over with the total at 45.

Sharma took a leaping catch at mid-on to dismiss Kumar Sangakkara for 10 off Harbhajan Singh's bowling on the first ball of the eighth over as Sri Lanka slipped to 69-2.

But Jayawardene (36 not out) and Dilshan guided the Sri Lankans to victory with an unbroken 85 for the third wicket.

"The kind of start they got I think was really amazing,'' India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said.

"There's nothing much you can do as a captain.

"It was really amazing to see Dilshan bat and the way he carried on with his innings. I think that was a key.''

Fast bowler S. Sreesanth conceded 34 from two overs with the new ball and finished with 0-48 from three overs.

"He was a bit down, the way Sanath played,'' Dhoni said.

"But these are things that happen in international cricket and you need character and courage to get out of it.''

Battling from the outset

India, coming off an upset over Australia in Melbourne on Sunday, was on the back foot after losing the toss and being sent in to bat in moist conditions.

The 20-year-old Rohit held the innings together, sharing an important 68-run fourth-wicket stand with Dhoni, and hitting six boundaries and a six.

Dhoni was run out in the 28th off India's allotted 29 overs after scoring 31 off 26 balls.

Virender Sehwag (14) and Sachin Tendulkar (32) put on 45 for the opening stand before both were caught at third man, in the eighth and ninth overs.

Gautam Gambhir (35) was run out after adding 64 for the third wicket with Rohit.

Sri Lanka's off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan returned 0-36 from his five overs in his 300th limited-overs international, while Lasith Malinga, Farveez Maharoof and Nuwan Kulasekera took one wicket apiece.

Sri Lanka next plays Australia in Perth on Friday.

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