Dream seam bowling from Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka move into second place on the tri-series points table following victory over India in Brisbane.
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2012 16:11
Sri Lanka's Sachitra Senanayake (R) and Mahela Jayawardene (L) celebrate dismissing Vinay Kumar [AFP] 

An outstanding display of seam bowling from Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera helped Sri Lanka beat India by
51 runs in their one-day international tri-series match in Brisbane on Tuesday.

After Sri Lanka scored 289-6, man of the match Kulasekara took 3-40 and Perera 4-37 as India were bowled out for 238 in 45.1 overs, their second loss in three days following their defeat by Australia at the Gabba on Sunday.

Sri Lanka, who beat Australia in Sydney last Friday, moved into second on the tri-series points table following the win and are now on 11 points, three behind the Australians and one ahead of India.

"We played a pretty good game," Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said.

"We picked up wickets again (with the new ball), which is great and it was pretty much a complete game apart from the dropped catches"

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene

"But we made a few mistakes with some dropped catches and we probably should have been able to push for a bonus point win.

"We were put under pressure in certain situations but I thought our boys did really well - they bowled really well, they created opportunities with the new ball."

"We picked up wickets again (with the new ball), which is great and it was pretty much a complete game apart from the dropped catches," he said.

Jayawardene won the toss and chose to bat on a hot and humid Brisbane afternoon and his batsmen were always on top of the Indian bowling attack.

Lahiru Thirimanne scored a quick-fire 62 in the middle of the order and big-hitting Angelo Mathews smashed 49 not out from 37 balls as the Sri Lankans blasted 91 runs off the last 10 overs.

Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 2-50 while left arm seamer Irfan Pathan took 2-54.

Early wickets

The Indian run chase began badly with skipper Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar both falling early and any hopes of overtaking the Sri Lanka total were dashed as they kept losing wickets at crucial moments.

Virat Kohli was dropped twice by Dinesh Chandimal on his way to 66, once on 14 and the second on 32, with the only other real contribution coming from Pathan, who powered his way to 47 from 34 deliveries to ensure Sri Lanka missed
out on the bonus point win.

India's big run chase got off to the worst possible start when they lost Sehwag in the second ball off the innings, caught at third man going after a short ball outside off stump from Lasith Malinga.

Fellow opener Tendulkar, still looking his elusive 100th international century, looked in superb touch as he raced to 22 at a run a ball until he shouldered arms to Kulasekara, only for the ball to hit the inside edge of his bat and cannon into off stump.

Gautam Gambhir then took up the challenge but he too perished meekly after a promising start, gliding the impressive Kulasekera to Perera in the gully.

"The way Sachin and Gambhir played in the beginning, I thought we could get a good start but we lost three wickets early"

Indian captain Virender Sehwag

"We didn't bowl well in the final 10 overs, and we didn't bat well," Sehwag said.

"The way Sachin and Gambhir played in the beginning, I thought we could get a good start but we lost three wickets early."

India were looking shaky at 54-3 but Kohli and Suresh Raina dug in and slowly began to increase the run rate against some tight Sri Lankan bowling.

The pair put on 92 before Raina was out, chipping a simple catch off Farveez Maharoof to Thirimanne for 32, leaving the Indians 146-4 from 31 overs.

Any hope of overhauling the Sri Lankans disappeared when Kohli was cramped by Perera and his attempted pull shot went straight to Kulasekara at mid-on.

Pathan offered resistance but he kept losing partners and was last man out when Perera took a superb caught and bowled chance to wrap up the Indian innings.

"We didn't have a good start to this tournament and we had to come back strongly, which we have done," Jayawardene said.

"We've played some consistent cricket even though we lost those first few games and now we are trying to finish games off well."

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