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Thu Apr 17 12:13:50 SAST 2014

Gambhir century sets India up for victory

Reuters | 29 July, 2012 09:350 Comments
India's Gautam Gambhir celebrates after scoring a century during the third ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo, July 28, 2012
Image by: Dinuka Liyanawatte / REUTERS

Gautam Gambhir’s 11th one-day international century laid the foundation for India’s five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the third one-day international on Saturday.

Gambhir scored a compact 102 off 101 balls, his sixth ODI hundred against Sri Lanka, as India chased down the home team’s total of 286-5 with two balls to spare.

India lead 2-1 in the five-match series.

Opener Gambhir was run out in the 39th over and India were guided home by sixth wicket pair Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan who shared an unbroken stand of 92.

Raina hit an unbeaten 65 and Pathan made 34 not out.

Lasith Malinga gave Sri Lanka hope when he grabbed two quick wickets off successive balls, sending back MS Dhoni for 31 and Rohit Sharma for a duck at the start of the batting power play, but Raina and Pathan snuffed out the threat.

Sri Lanka slipped to 20-3 inside six overs after winning the toss, but Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene staged a recovery with a partnership of 121.

Sangakkara, hit on the right little finger by a ball from Ashok Dinda, continued to bat after being treated on the field to top score with 73.

Jayawardene made 65 before being trapped lbw by Rahul Sharma.

The Sri Lankan innings was given momentum by sixth wicket pair Angelo Mathews and Jeevan Mendis who added 104 off 73 balls.

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