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Jayawardene takes Sri Lanka to 242

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Hyderabad, Nov 9 (IANS) Sri Lanka rode on the back of a brilliant century from veteran Mahela Jayawardene to put up 242 against India in the third One-Day International (ODI) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here Sunday.

Jayawardene, who struck his 17th century, was well supported by Tillakaratne Dilshan (53) at the start but, after the latter got out, no other batsman gave much support to Jayawardene. In the end, the visitors, who elected to bat, were bowled out for 242 in 48.2 overs.

Sri Lanka got off to a poor start after opener Kusal Perera (4) was caught behind on the sixth ball of the innings. Another veteran Kumar Sangakkara perished for a duck two runs later, leaving his team tottering at 7/2.

However, the 37-year-old Jayawardene showed his hunger for runs to score a well-planned 118 to bring up his 12,000 runs in ODI cricket. He caressed 12 boundaries and hit one six in his 125-ball innings.

Though opening batsman Dilshan was slow, he gave good support to Jayawardene to take his team out of trouble and strike a solid 105-run third wicket partnership which was eventually broken when Dilshan was caught off Ambati Rayudu.

Thereon, the tables turned for the visitors who could not forge big partnerships as Jayawardene kept running out of partners. The right hander, in order to accelerate the scoring, was stumped by India wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha with the score at 225.

Seekkuge Prasanna contributed 29 runs lower down the order to take the visitors’ total to 242 before Sri Lanka were bowled out.

Pacer Umesh Yadav and left arm spinner Axar Patel were the pick of the Indian bowlers picking up four and three wickets, respectively.

If India win at Hyderabad, they will seal the five-match series, having won the first two fixtures.

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