Sat, 04 Aug 2012 23:01:01 GMT | By PTI

India take series 4-1 in Pallekele

Irfan Pathan claimed five wickets and contributed valuable 29 runs as India managed a 20-run win over Sri Lanka in the dead fifth rubber to complete a 4-1 series drubbing, here today.


India take series 4-1 in Pallekele

India posted a challenging 294 for seven after electing to bat and completed the win by bowling out the hosts for 274 in 45.4 overs at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

India had lost the second ODI in Hambantota by nine wickets but were dominant in all the other matches. Opener Gautam Gambhir (88), Manoj Tiwary (65) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (58) scored half-centuries while Rohit Sharma (4) failed yet again today.

Dhoni along with Pathan (29 off 28) plundered 77 runs in just 9.5 overs before falling to Lasith Malinga in the penultimate over of India innings. Later, the pace trio of Pathan (5/60), Ashok Dinda (2/55) and Zaheer Khan (1/53) ripped apart the Sri Lankan top-order, tilting the scale in favour of India.

Courtesy this win, India have now claimed the second spot in the ODI rankings behind Australia after starting the series in the fourth position. Both India and Australia now have 119 rating points, followed by South Africa (118).

Lahiru Thirimanne, who came to bat at number three after the fall of opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (0), was the top scorer for the hosts with his fighting 81-run knock. Run-rate was never a problem with Sri Lanka but they struggled to keep wickets in hand as half of the batting line- up was resting in pavilion within 16 overs.

Thirimanne and Jeevan Mendis (72) did stage a fightback for their side with a gritty 102-run partnership for the sixth wicket in 20.4 overs.

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