India Lose to SL by 51 Runs to Languish at Bottom

Ashish Shukla/Brisbane
India Lose to SL by 51 Runs to Languish at Bottom
India's cricket tri-series campaign was thrown into disarray as they slipped to the bottom of the points table, losing to a rejuvenated Sri Lanka by 51 runs in another one-sided encounter here today.

Chasing Sri Lanka's imposing 289 for six, Indians suffered another top-order collapse and folded up for 238 in 45.1 overs to give the islanders their second successive victory.

The target of 290 was too stiff for the Indians under lights despite a good 96-run fourth wicket stand between Virat Kohli (66) and Suresh Raina (32) and a late counter-attack by Irfan Pathan who made 47 off 34 balls with seven boundaries.

Sri Lankans were well served by Nuwan Kulasekara first up who claimed 3 for 40, including the scalps of Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir, and Thisara Perera who took 4 for 37.

Kulasekara's effort earned him the man-of-the-match award.

Sri Lanka now forge ahead of Indians on the points table though the latter were able to cross 231 and avoided conceding a bonus point. Lankans now have 11 points from five matches while Indians have 10 from six games. Australia have 14 points from five games.

India's chase couldn't have begun on a worse note as stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag slashed at a wide delivery from Lasith Malinga and the catch ballooned up for third man fielder to complete the job.

Sachin Tendulkar (22) kept everyone interested during his brief stay. He once punched Lasith Malinga through covers and then flicked him through mid-wicket, both of whom were shots of highest pedigree. But then he tried to leave a Kulasekara delivery and succeeded only in dragging the ball on to his stumps.
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