Sri Lanka hammered India by eight wickets on Tuesday to revive their hopes in the rain-hit tri-series. Set a revised 154 to win from 21 overs, Sri Lanka reached the rain-adjusted target with two overs to spare for their first win of the series. India made 195 for five from 29 overs after an early downpour delayed the start of play, but the game was shortened again when further rain arrived during the break between innings. Rain has played havoc with the series, with the first two matches washed out. After veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya gave Sri Lanka, thrashed by Australia by 128 runs in their previous match, a flying start with 27 from 13 balls they were always comfortably placed to reach the Indian total. Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said his side showed great character in a match they needed to win.
"We needed to show character. I thought the guys did show character today and fought really well," he said. "Winning the toss was a bit of an advantage on that wicket earlier on. "We managed to keep them to a decent score and the chase was well-calculated so credit to the guys for the way they handled themselves today." Jayasuriya sparked Sri Lanka when he hit two massive sixes in one Shanthakumaran Sreesanth over that went for 23. It was a nightmare match for the fiery Indian quick, who conceded 48 runs in only three overs and was also pulled for another six by Tillakaratne Dilshan. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his side were always on the back foot after the flying Sri Lankan start. "The kind of start they got I think was really amazing," Dhoni said. "There's nothing much you can do as a captain. "It was really amazing to see Dilshan bat and the way he carried on with his innings."
Although Ishant Sharma removed Jayasuriya, Dilshan's classy half-century guided his side safely to the target. Man-of-the-match Dilshan was unbeaten on 62, having faced just 59 balls, hitting six boundaries and one six. He put on 85 with Jayawardene (36 not out). Only spinner Harbhajan Singh, who claimed Kumar Sangakkara with his first ball and finished with 1-15 from four overs, was able to trouble the Sri Lankan batsmen. After Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl, young batsman Rohit Sharma again impressed with 70 not out to anchor the Indian effort. Sharma struggled for touch early, but grew in confidence as his innings progressed and played some wonderfully inventive shots. The 20-year-old struck one powerful six off Muttiah Muralitharan and faced just 64 balls, hitting six boundaries. Sharma and skipper Dhoni reprised their match-winning partnership against Australia on Sunday to boost the Indian total late on.
The pair put on 68 in just 46 balls after coming together when Gautam Gambhir, who was also looking dangerous, was run out for 35 (off 33 balls). Dhoni made 31 from 26 balls before he too was run out attempting a risky second run. Veteran Sachin Tendulkar threatened to tear the Sri Lankan attack apart at the top of the order and played some glorious strokes, particularly through the leg side. But on 32 (from 30 balls) he tried to heave the recalled Farveez Maharoof over mid-on and only succeeded in getting a thick outside edge, the ball flying to deep third man. The result evened up the tri-series ladder considerably, with India on top on eight points, Australia on seven and Sri Lanka on six.


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