Rahul Dravid became the sixth batsman in history to reach 10,000 one-day runs as he steered India to a series-levelling five-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
Dravid hit a match-winning 66 as India overcame early setbacks to surpass Sri Lanka’s 230-8 in the 47th over of the third One-day International (ODI) at the Nehru stadium here.
The hosts hit 233-5 to level the four-match series 1-1 with the decider to be played in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.
The first match in Kolkata was abandoned due to rain and Sri Lanka won the second in Rajkot by five runs. The series is the last for both teams before they head to the Caribbean for the World Cup starting on March 13.
India’s victory was set up by left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan who grabbed a career-best 5-42 after Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat in good conditions.
Zaheer reduced Sri Lanka to 6-3 in the fifth over before the tourists, electing to take first strike, fought back through the lower order to post a challenging total.
Russel Arnold (66 not out) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (42) put on 89 for the sixth wicket after half the side was back in the pavilion for 91 by the 24th over.
India, in reply, slipped to 35-2 by the fifth over as Virender Sehwag was caught off Dilhara Fernando for 12 and Sachin Tendulkar was bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara for one.
Sourav Ganguly made 48 to boost the score before Dravid and Mahendra Dhoni (67 not out) sealed India’s win with a fifth-wicket stand of 133.
Dravid was unlucky to be run out four runs short of victory when bowler Malinga Bandara deflected a hit from Dhoni on to the wicket with the non-striker out of his crease.
Earlier, Zaheer grabbed the first three wickets in eight balls as he surpassed his previous best of 4-19 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2003.
Ganguly led India’s inspired display in the field with a brilliant catch to dismiss veteran Jayasuriya. Ganguly, 34, ran swiftly from mid-wicket to square leg and then dived full length to hold a skier one-handed after Jayasuriya fended at a rising ball from Zaheer.
Zaheer trapped Upul Tharanga leg-before three balls later and clean-bowled Kumar Sangakkara, a century-maker in the previous game, for no score in his next over.
Skipper Mahela Jayawardene and his predecessor Marvan Atapattu put on 76 for the fourth wicket before both fell in successive overs to make Sri Lanka 91-5.
Atapattu was held low at square-leg by Tendulkar after making 42 and Jayawardene fell leg-before to Harbhajan Singh for 30.
Dilshan and Arnold rebuilt again in the middle overs before Harbhajan had Dilshan caught at the wicket in the 42nd over to take his second wicket.
Sri Lanka won toss
W U Tharanga lbw b Khan 1
S T Jayasuriya c Ganguly b Khan 2
*D P M D Jayawardene lbw b Harbhajan 30
†K C Sangakkara b Khan 0
M S Atapattu c Tendulkar b Patel 42
T M Dilshan c Dhoni b Harbhajan 42
R P Arnold not out 66
M F Maharoof c Agarkar b Khan 14
C M Bandara lbw b Khan 2
K M D N Kulasekara not out 9
Extras (b4, lb3, w11, nb4) 22
Total (8 wkts, 50 overs) 230
Did not bat: C R D Fernando
Fall: 1-5, 2-5, 3-6, 4-82, 5-91, 6-180, 7-196, 8-204
Bowling: Khan 10-0-42-5 (2w); Agarkar 10-2-40-0 (4w); Patel 10-2-41-1 (4nb); Harbhajan Singh 10-0-37-2; Tendulkar 4-0-33-0 (1w); Sehwag 6-0-30-0
S C Ganguly lbw b Bandara 48
V Sehwag c Dilshan b Fernando 12
S R Tendulkar b Kulasekara 1
Yuvraj Singh c K’sekara b Fernando 21
*R Dravid run out (Bandara) 66
†M S Dhoni not out 67
K D Karthik not out 4
Extras (lb1, w10, nb3) 14
Total (5 wkts, 46.3 overs) 233
Did not bat: Harbhajan Singh, A B Agarkar, Z Khan, M M Patel
Fall: 1-20, 2-35, 3-83, 4-94, 5-227
Bowling: Maharoof 8-0-47-0 (4w); Fernando 10-1-43-2 (3nb, 1w); Kulasekara 8.3-0-46-1; Bandara 10-0-46-1; Jayasuriya 7-0-34-0; Dilshan 3-0-16-0
Result: India won by 5 wickets
Series: 4-match series level 1-1
Man of the Match: Zaheer Khan
Umpires: A M Saheba and S J A Taufel (Australia). TV umpire: S L Shastri. Match referee: A G Hurst (Australia)
Previous matches: February 8 Kolkata (d/n), no result. February 11 Rajkot, Sri Lanka won by 5 runs
Fourth & final ODI: February 17 (Saturday), Visakhapatnam
Source:The NewsMore on:India, Rahul Dravid, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka in India 2007, Zaheer Khan
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