India survive a Kandamby scare

January 31, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Thilina Kandamby smashed a solid 93 not out under pressure, but failed to stop India from posting a 15-run victory in the second one-day international here Saturday. The tourists restricted Sri Lanka to 241 after scoring 256-9 in a day-night match, which was held up for five minutes during the hosts’ innings after Indian fielder Ishant Sharma was struck by an object from the stands.

The 20-year-old paceman Sharma (4-57) was the bowling star for India, who now lead 2-0 in the five-match series.

“Overall, it was a good effort but we have to be careful as sometimes we relax a bit. We made a few mistakes in the field,” said India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Indian fast bowlers Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar and Sharma did the early damage, exploiting the conditions well under lights during their sharp opening spells to reduce the hosts to 36-3 in the eighth over.

Left-handed Kandamby sustained his team’s hopes with a 100-run stand for the fourth wicket with skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who regained form with 52 — his first half-century in 14 one-dayers.

But the asking-rate kept climbing despite impressive knocks from Jayawardene and Kandamb