Mendis, Jayasuriya shine as Sri Lanka retains Asia Cup

KARACHI, July 6, 2008 (AFP) – Sensational spinner Ajantha Mendis took six wickets for just nine runs to help Sri Lanka beat India by 100 runs in the final here on Sunday to successfully defend the Asia Cup title. As expected the 23-year-old spinner mesmerised the Indian batsmen with career-best figures to cause a slump which saw India lose nine wickets for 97 runs and were bowled out for 173 in 39.3 overs.
Sanath Jayasuriya hit a fighting 125 to help Sri Lanka post a decent 273 in their 50 overs on a flat National Stadium pitch.

Mendis, playing for the first time against India since making his debut in April this year, bowled eight overs of beguiling spin to beat his previous best of 5-22 against United Arab Emirates in the first round last week.

He also bettered the best bowling figures in Asia Cup history, erasing the 5-19 record set by Aaqib Javed for Pakistan against India at Sharjah in 1995.

The spinner from Moratuwa finished with 17 wickets in the batsman-dominated tournament.

India got off to a rapid start, reaching 36 by the fifth over when Gautum Gambhir (6) was caught in the covers of Chaminda Vaas.
Mendis came into bowl the 10th over with Sehwag (60) dealing only in boundaries. Off