Rajkot ODI: India win by seven wickets

India have defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the sixth one-day international at Rajkot.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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India have defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the sixth one-day international at Rajkot. Chasing 197 for victory, India achieved their target with 15.1 overs to spare, Yuvraj Singh leading India with a quickfire 79. While Yuvraj emerged as the batting hero by notching up his 19th ODI half century, young paceman Rudra Pratap Singh also had his moment of glory as he returned with career-best figures of 4/35 to wreck the Sri Lankan innings on a good track. RP Singh was awarded the Man of the Match. Mohammad Kaif, returning to the team after sitting out the first five matches because of an injury, showed no signs of rustiness as he slammed an unbeaten 38 while Gautam Gambhir (28), Virender Sehwag (22) and Sachin Tendulkar (19) could not manage to convert the starts into big knocks. Yuvraj shines Yuvraj Singh, having aggregated only 45 runs in four innings so far in the series, answered his critics in his inimitable style cracking an unbeaten 79 that contained three sixes and nine fours. He added 105 runs with Kaif for the fourth wicket. The Lankan batting, which had fired on full cylinders in the previous match, bombed altogether. Only three batsmen went past 20 and more than seven overs of their allotted quota went unutilised. The visitors' innings revolved around a defiant half-century from Tillekaratne Dilshan. The middle-order batsman, man of the match in Sri Lanka's five-wicket win at Ahmedabad, stroked his way to a fine 59 from only 63 balls with nine fours. Upul Chandana hit a valuable 30 and added 29 runs for the eighth wicket with Dilshan. Earlier, India bowled out Sri Lanka for a paltry 196 after captain Virender Sehwag won the toss and put the visitors in to bat. Then the Indian openers got on to their task of chasing 197 runs to win the match. But Dilhara Fernando bowled Gautam Gambhir for 28 in the eighth over after he, along with Tendulkar, gave India a flying start. Fernando followed it up with the wicket of Tendulkar in the 10th over, caught by Farveez Maharoof for 19. Virender Sehwag and Mohammad Kaif then shared a 35-run partnership for the third wicket before the former was dismissed by Upul Chandana in the 17th over. Sehwag, caught by Tillekeratne Dilshan, scored a run-a-ball 22. Disciplined bowling Earlier, young paceman RP Singh took four wickets as India dismissed Sri Lanka for 196 runs. Despite a brisk start, the Lankan innings never took off in the face of disciplined bowling by India. Kerala fast bowler S Sreesanth started the Lankan downfall when he picked up the prize wicket of Sanath Jayasuriya in the eighth over. Jayasuriya was caught behind by MS Dhoni after a quickfire 19 off 17 balls. Irfan Pathan then sent Kumar Sangakkara back to the pavilion when he had the wicketkeeper-batsman caught by Sachin Tendulkar for nine in the 11th over. RP Singh strikes RP Singh struck in the next over, dismissing Upul Tharanga for 29. He was also caught behind by Dhoni. Mahela Jayawardene also did not last long, and was stumped by Dhoni off a Murali Kartik delivery in the 17th over. RP Singh then had skipper Marvan Atapattu caught by Sehwag for 9 in the next over to leave the Lankan innings in tatters. Tillekeratne Dilshan and Russel Arnold added 35 runs for the sixth wicket before the latter was run out by Mohammad Kaif in the 27th over for eight. Kartik struck again in the 31st over, bowling Chaminda Vaas for nine, while Dilshan was run out by Yuvraj in the 37th over after a valiant innings of 59 runs. RP Singh dismissed Farveez Maharoof, caught by Kaif for four, in the 41st over to add to the Lankan woes. Singh bowled last batsman Upul Chandana for 30 in the 43rd over to fold the Lankan innings. Dilhara Fernando remained unbeaten on four.
(With PTI inputs)