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10-Jan-2010 14:58:00 GMT
India vs Sri Lanka, 5th match, Tri-series, Mirpur

India Thump Lanka, Enter Tri-series Final

Dhaka: After superb bowling by Zaheer Khan (3-38) and Amit Mishra (3-40), Kohli (71*) and Gambhir (71) hit fifties apiece to guide India to a comprehensive 8-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the fifth ODI at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.

Chasing a gettable total of 214 runs, openers Gambhir (71) and Karthik (48) took India off to a blazing start putting on a 89 run partnership for the first wicket. Later Kohli (71*) took charge and made sure there were no further hiccups.

The Indian bowlers did a neat job, skittling out Sri Lanka for a meagre 213 in 46.1 overs before their batting colleagues took over, guiding the team to 214 for two for a facile win that came with 17.2 overs to spare.

Gautam Gambhir (71 off 86 balls) and Dinesh Karthik (48 off 40 balls) gave India a flying start before Virat Kohli came up with a breezy unbeaten 71 off just 68 balls to complete the formality.

Irrespective of the outcome of their final group match against Bangladesh on Monday, India will meet Sri Lanka in Wednesday's final.

Kohli notched up his fifth half century in his 18th ODI, which he made with the help of nine fours while Gambhir, who was dropped twice - on 41 and 43 - smashed his 19th ODI fifty in his 94th match.

With this win, India, who played on Sunday without key players Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra, have won two matches out of three while Sri Lanka ended their league engagements with three wins out of four.

India have collected nine points, with a bonus point for reaching the target in less overs in Sunday's match.

Earlier, Sri Lanka have been bowled out for 213 in 46.1 overs. Much improved bowling performance from the Indian side, Zaheer Khan and Amit Mishra caused most of the damage with three wickets a peice.

They had Sri Lanka in a tight spot with the score on 84 for 6 and would be slightly disappointed that they could not wrap this inning up much earlier. Kumar Sangakkara and Suraj Randiv scored half centuries which helped Sri Lanka get past the 200 run mark.

Zaheer Khan was the Man of the Match for his fine performance with the ball. India take on the hosts Bangladesh tomorrow in the last match of the league stage.

Brief scores
Sri Lanka:
213 (Sangakkara 68, Randiv 56, Khan 3-38, Mishra 3-40)
India: 214 for 2 (Kohli 71*, Gambhir 71)
Result: India won by 8-wickets
MOM: Zaheer Khan (India)

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