Fernando fires Asia to series-clinching win in the second ODI

CHENNAI, India, June 9, 2007 (AFP) – Fast bowler Dilhara Fernando grabbed four wickets as Asia clinched the Afro-Asia cricket series with a 31-run win over Africa in the second one-day international here on Saturday. Asia restricted their rivals to 306 under lights after posting a challenging 337-7 to gain an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The final game will be played here on Sunday.

Sri Lankan Fernando finished with 4-36 off 10 overs, his best in 115 one-day internationals.

Africa, who lost the opening match by 34 runs on Wednesday, were well-served by Mark Boucher (73) and Boeta Dippenaar (67) before Fernando swung the match in his team’s favour by striking at the right time.

Fernando broke a 60-run stand for the second wicket between Dippenaar and Vusi Sibanda (35) in his opening spell and then removed Boucher just when the South African wicket-keeper had been putting pressure on Asia.

The Sri Lankan had Zimbabwean Sibanda caught by wicket-keeper Mahendra Dhoni and then bowled skipper Justin Kemp in the same over. In his second spell, he dismissed the well-set Boucher to dash Africa’s hopes of levelling the series.

South Africans Boucher and Dippenaar sustained their