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09-Dec-2009 15:50:00 GMT
India vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20, Nagpur

Sri Lanka Beat India by 29-runs in 1st T20

Nagpur: After defeat in the Test series, Sri Lanka displayed brilliant all-round performance to beat India by 29 runs in the first Twenty20 International in Nagpur on Wednesday.

Indian batsman couldn't chase the mammoth total of 215 runs posted by the visiting Sri Lanka and lost nine wickets for 186 runs. After hard-hitting batsman Sehwag got out early, Gautam Gambhir played some brilliant shots and slammed the second quickest half-century in 19 balls.

However, soon after Gambhir fell, no batsman could show patience and got out one after another in quick succession.

Earlier, Kumar Sangakkara cracked a quickfire 37-ball 78 as Sri Lanka took full advantage of a sloppy fielding display to pile up an imposing total of 215/5.

Sangakkara looked in very good touch after scoring a fine century for a lost cause in the second innings of the third and final Test at Mumbai and ensured his team carry on the momentum after a good start given by veteran Sanath Jayasuriya (26) and Tilekaratne Dilshan (34) who put on 43 in six overs.

Later Sangakkara found the ideal partner in the big-hitting Chamara Kapugedara (47 in 20 balls) as the fourth wicket duo added 69 runs in 5.3 overs to help Lanka cross the 200-mark. The visitors set India a tough ask of scoring over 10 runs an over to win the contest.

The Indians paid the price for some shoddy fielding as they dropped as many as five catches while the ground fielding also left much to be desired.

Lanka were off the block in a brisk manner, after being put in to bat by the hosts, once Jayasuriya settled down after playing and missing often earlier.

In one over from Ashish Nehra, the left-handed marauder from Matara, who joined the team at the conclusion of the three-Test series, slammed the left arm pace bowler for five fours when Nehra strayed in line.

Jayasuriya, who initially could not time his shots and was also dropped by Yuvraj Singh at point off Ishant Sharma when on 4 in a total of 14 for none in the fourth over, got his first boundary, a four, in a typical pick-up and loft to the extra cover fence.

He then swung the bowler to the mid wicket region for two fours and then glanced him for two more fours to help himself to 26 in a team score of 39 for no loss after five overs.

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni replaced Nehra with debutant Ashok Dinda after the left arm bowler's three overs had cost 34 runs and the fifty came in 40 balls.

The 25-year-old Bengal medium pacer struck off his second ball in international cricket, when Jayasuriya (26 in 20 balls with five fours) slashed and was caught at deep third man by a diving Ishant Sharma, who had previously let off Tilekaratne Dilshan off his own bowling. The batsman was on 13 at his escape.

When spin was introduced at both ends, Lanka skipper Sangakkara carted left arm Pragyan Ojha for two fours and a straight field six off successive balls in his first over to take Lanka past 75 by the ninth over.

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