India restrict Lanka to 233-8

Perth: India recovered from initial sloppiness with a tidy bowling show and impressive fielding as they restricted Sri Lanka to 233 for eight in a cricket tri-series match here today.

Indian spinners Ravindra Jadeja (1/41) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3/32) squeezed the runs dry while returning left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan was brilliant upfront with two crucial wickets after Sri Lanka elected to bat at the WACA Ground.

Zaheer began with the scalp of opener Upul Tharanga (4) in his second over and then returned midway to send back Kumar Sangakkara (26) to finish with two for 44 from his allotted 10 overs.

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also put up an impeccable show, having a hand in two stumpings and a run-out, besides a catch.

Sri Lanka had things in control when Tillakaratne Dilshan (48) and Kumar Sangakkara (26) put on 62 runs for the second wicket. Apparently, a platform had been laid and Sri Lanka were eyeing a total in excess of 250 runs.

But it all changed when Sangakkara departed, caught brilliantly by Dhoni, diving to his left, off Zaheer who returned for his second spell in the 17th over.

India then wrested back control, conceding at one stage only 44 runs from 15 overs. The bowling powerplay, which India took in the 16th over, cost only 11 runs for a wicket.

Ashwin began with a maiden over but then was held back for final overs. Dhoni pressed on with Praveen Kumar and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and the two squeezed the runs dry.

Dilshan, who had begun in a thrilling fashion by twice thumping Praveen Kumar to off-side, was caught up too in this Indian squeeze and departed on 48, cutting Jadeja straight into the hands of Virat Kohli at point.

The former Sri Lankan captain was at the crease for 103 minutes and faced 79 balls, hitting six fours.

Dinesh Chandimal (64) and skipper Mahela Jayawardene (23) then pottered around for 62 balls and raised 52 runs for the fifth wicket before the start of the batting powerplay fetched India one more wicket.

India began with Ashwin in the batting powerplay and the off-spinner justified it by snaring Jayawardene into a sweep which went high to Rohit Sharma at widish long leg.

Sri Lanka lost another wicket in the batting powerplay, Ashwin was once again in the thick of things when he drew left-hander Thisara Perera (7) out of his crease and Dhoni did the rest. In all, 23 runs came from batting powerplay overs for Sri Lanka at the cost of two wickets.

Sri Lanka lost their top scorer Chandimal in the final overs when Ashwin made one spin past his bat for Dhoni to effect a smart stumping.

Chandimal batted for 81 balls for his 64 runs, hitting four fours.

Angelo Matthews did his bit towards the end, making 33 runs off 28 balls with two fours.