Samaraweera fires Sri Lanka to victory

DHAKA, January 5, 2010 (AFP) – Thilan Samaraweera smashed a career-best 105 not out to guide Sri Lanka to a five-wicket win over India in a triangular one-day series match here on Tuesday. The middle-order batsman hit 11 fours in his 106-ball knock for his second one-day hundred as Sri Lanka surpassed India’s 279-9 with 12 balls to spare in the day-night match for their second successive victory.

Samaraweera, who has played 57 Tests but only 29 one-dayers before this game, added 122 for the third wicket with Kumar Sangakkara (60) and 57 for the unfinished sixth with Thissara Perera, who hit a brisk 15-ball 36 not out.

“All credit to Samaraweera and Perera also played superbly,” said Sangakkara, the skipper.

“Chanaka Welegedara earlier did well to bring us back into the match. I think our fielding was much better. The attitude of the players was brilliant and we were out there to win.”

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh kept up India’s hopes with three wickets, including that of Sangakkara, but Samaraweera and Perera held their nerve under pressure to steer their team home.

The spinner provided the crucial breakthrough when he had Sangakkara caught by Suresh Raina in the c