All-round Sri Lanka beats India, stays alive in series

Chasing a revised target of 266 in 46 overs, following a brief rain interruption, Sri Lanka cruised home with 13 balls to spare.

Chamika Karunaratne

Chamika Karunaratne was deservedly declared the man-of-the-match for his heroics with the ball. He returned with figures of 5/36.   -  Getty Images

Sri Lanka-A turned in a fine all-round performance to record an emphatic six-wicket victory over India-A in the third one-day match at the KSCA Stadium here on Monday.

Chasing a revised target of 266 in 46 overs, following a brief rain interruption, the touring side cruised home with 13 balls to spare.

Niroshan Dickwella, Sangeeth Cooray and Shehan Jayasuriya spearheaded the Sri Lankan batting effort with half-centuries but Chamika Karunaratne was deservedly declared the man-of-the-match for his heroics with the ball.

The medium-pacer took five for 36 as India-A made 291, riding on Prashant Chopra's 125-ball-129.

The result kept the series alive, with India-A leading 2-1 heading into the final two one-day matches in Hubballi.

"Had we lost today, the series would have been over; so we gave it our all today," said Karunaratne afterwards.

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"We hadn't bowled in the right areas in the first two games. We did that today, and we hit the wicket harder."

Sri Lanka-A embarked on the run chase with purpose, openers Dickwella and Cooray adding 82 runs. Dickwella fell for 62, caught behind wafting at Shivam Dube.

The Mumbai medium-pacer struck again soon after, bowling Sadeera Samarawickrama. But Shehan Jayasuriya maintained his rich form, stroking an unbeaten 66 as he and Cooray added 109 runs for the third wicket.

Cooray fell for an entertaining 88 (103b, 10x4, 3x6) but Dasun Shanaka finished things off in a hurry.

Earlier, India-A won the toss and elected to bat first. Chopra was put down at first slip off Lahiru Kumara early in his innings, and he edged another wide of second slip. But the Himachal Pradesh batsman did not let that affect him as he buckled down to accumulate runs with patience.

"I watched India's World Cup game yesterday and I took inspiration from the way Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma constructed their innings," said Chopra. 

"The wicket was a little up and down initially but I just needed to survive the first eight-10 overs. I covered the line and waited for the loose ball."

India-A meandered after Chopra and Deepak Hooda (53) fell though, losing five for 45 in the last 6.4 overs.

The total seemed competitive, but Sri Lanka-A had little trouble.

Brief scores: India-A 291/8 in 50 overs (Prashant Chopra 129, Deepak Hooda 53, Shivam Dube 28, Washington Sundar 26, Ishan Kishan 25, Chamika Karunaratne 5/36) lost to Sri Lanka-A (DLS target: 266 in 46 overs) 266/4 in 43.5 overs (Sangeeth Cooray 88, Shehan Jayasuriya 65*, Niroshan Dickwella 62, Dasun Shanaka 36*).