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Mathews smashes maiden ton as Sri Lanka post 287-run target

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Ranchi, Nov 16 (IANS) Buoyed by captain Angelo Mathews’ (139 not out) maiden ton, Sri Lanka put up a challenging 287-run target at the cost of eight wickets against India in the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) at the JSCA International Stadium Complex here Sunday.

Electing to bat on a pitch that Mathews dubbed as dry, Sri Lanka got off to a blistering start with opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (35) in punishing mood.

Niroshan Dickwella (4), playing his first match of the series, was the first to be dismissed in the fifth over.

The visitors suffered another setback in the very next over as the dangerous Dilshan was sent packing by the innocuous medium-pace Stuart Binny.

Sri Lanka seemed to lose some impetus after Dilshan’s dismissal. They lost further ground following two more quick strikes by India.

Wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Chandimal’s (5 runs off 31 balls) struggle at the crease was brought to an end by the ever improving spinner Axar Patel, who picked up two wickets.

Former captain Mahela Jayawardene’s (32) blossoming innings came to a pre-mature end as Sri Lanka slumped to 85 for four after 18.3 overs.

Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne (52) got together and stitched a 128-run stand for the fifth wicket to bring the Lankans back in the game.

The Sri Lankan skipper smashed 10 sixes on way to his maiden hundred and, thanks to his blitzkrieg at the fag end of the innings, the visitors managed to score 73 runs off the final five overs despite losing three wickets.

Dhawal Kulkarni picked up three wickets but received some stick from the Sri Lankan batsmen conceding 57 runs off his eight overs.

Axar Patel and Ashwin chipped in with two wickets each while Binny took one.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka: 286 for eight in 50 overs (Angelo Mathews 139 not out, Lahiru Thirimanne 52; Dhawal Kulkarni 3-57, Axar Patel 2-45, Ravichandran Ashwin 2-56) vs India.

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