FATULLAH- Kumar Sangakkara hit a brilliant 103 as Sri Lanka survived anxious moments to overcome India by two wickets in a thrilling last-over finish Friday, securing their second win in the Asia Cup. The victory was set up by spinners Ajantha Mendis and Sachithra Senanayake, who shared seven wickets to restrict the reigning world champions to 264-9 in the day-night match in Fatullah.
But Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 216-7 in the 44th over when Thisara Perera helped Sangakkara add 42 crucial runs for the eighth wicket. Left-handed Sangakkara, who hit 12 boundaries and a six in his 18th one-day century, fell in the penultimate over when just seven runs were needed for victory. But Mendis and Perera saw Sri Lanka through with four deliveries to spare in a nail-biting finish, giving their team a second win after they beat Pakistan in the tournament opener. India, who won against Bangladesh, must defeat arch-rivals Pakistan in Dhaka on Sunday to stay in contention for a place in the final. Opener Shikhar Dhawan scored 94 as India, sent in to bat, moved to 175-2 in 35 overs before losing five wickets for 40 runs to slide to 215-7.
Big hitting by the lower order, including two sixes by last man Mohammed Shami off Mendis, lifted India past the 250-run mark. Mendis, who replaced seamer Suranga Lakmal for the match, justified his selection with four for 60, including the key scalps of Dhawan and stand-in captain Virat Kohli. Off-spinner Senanayake finished with his best one-day figures of three for 41 as the Indians struggled against the turning ball on the slow wicket.
Kohli, leading India in the absence of the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, put on 97 for the second wicket with Dhawan after Rohit Sharma had been trapped leg-before by Senanayake for 13. Kusal Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne gave Sri Lanka a flying start with a 80-run partnership for the first wicket by the 18th over. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin removed both openers, trapping Thirimanne leg-before for 38 and then having Kusal Perera caught behind for 64. India bounced back strongly when left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja dismissed Mahela Jayawardene and Dinesh Chandimal with consecutive deliveries to reduce Sri Lanka to 148-4 in the 32nd over. Seamer Mohammad Shami, who conceded 42 runs in his first six overs, returned for a spell and trapped skipper Angelo Mathews leg-before with his second ball.
Shami also had Senanayake caught at mid-wicket and Jadeja had Chaturanga de Silva leg-before as Sri Lanka slumped to 216-7. Afghanistan will take on hosts Bangladesh in the next match in Fatullah on Saturday.
R Sharma lbw b Senanayake 13
S Dhawan b Mendis 94
V Kohli b Mendis 48
A Rahane c Thirimanne b Senanayake 22
A Rayudu c K. Perera b de Silva 18
D Karthik c de Silva b Mendis 4
R Jadeja not out 22
S Binny lbw b Senanayake 0
R Ashwin b Malinga 18
B Kumar st Sangakkara b Mendis 0
M Shami not out 14
EXTRAS: (b4 lb1, w6) 11
TOTAL: (9 wkts, 50 overs) 264
FOW: 1-33, 2-130, 3-175, 4-196, 5-200, 6-214, 7-215, 8-245, 9-247
BOWLING: Malinga 10-0-58-1, Mathews 3.2-1-9-0, Senanayake 10-0-41-3, T Perera 6.4-0-40-0, Mendis 10-0-60-4, de Silva 10-0-51-1
K Perera c Karthik b Ashwin 64
L Thirimanne lbw b Ashwin 38
K Sangakkara c Ashwin b Shami 103
M Jayawardene c Sharma b Jadeja 9
D Chandimal b Jadeja 0
A Mathews lbw b Shami 6
S Senanayake c Sharma b Shami 12
C de Silva lbw b Jadeja 9
T Perera not out 11
A Mendis not out 5
EXTRAS: (lb7, w1) 8
TOTAL: (8 wickets; 49.2 overs) 265
FOW: 1-80, 2-134, 3-148, 4-148, 5-165, 6-183, 7-216, 8-258
BOWLING: B Kumar 9.2-1-45-0, M Shami 10-0-81-3, R Ashwin 10-0-42-2, S Binny 4-0-22-0, R Jadeja 10-1-30-3, A Rayudu 1-0-9-0, R Sharma 5-0-29-0
TOSS: Sri Lanka
UMPIRES: Nigel Llong (ENG) and Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
TV UMPIRE: Ahsan Raza (PAK)
MATCH REFEREE: Jeff Crowe (NZL)