Colombo: Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene knocked impressive half-centuries to lead Sri Lanka to a challenging 286 for five against India in the third One-day International, at the R Premadasa Stadium, in Colombo today.
The experienced combination of Jayawardene (65) and Sangakkara (73) mixed caution with aggression adding 121 runs in 23.5 overs for a fourth-wicket, after home team were in a spot of bother tottering at 20 for three.
The duo provided the perfect launch pad for Angelo Matthews (71 not out) and Jeevan Mendis (45 not out) to accelerate in the end, adding 50 runs for the last five overs.
Matthews' 57-ball 71 consisted of five fours and a six, Mendis' 40-ball 45 was laced with three fours and a six off Dinda over the mid-wicket boundary.
For India, pacer Zaheer Khan was the most impressive of the lot as he accounted for two wickets while Irfan Pathan, Ashok Dinda and Rahul Sharma chipped in with a wicket apiece.
Electing to bat, Sri Lanka were off to a poor start as they were three down with just 20 runs inside sixth over.
Zaheer gave the visitors the first breakthrough as he sent back last match's half-centurion Tillakaratne Dilshan (4) in his second over of the innings.
The opener was unlucky as he had no idea where the ball went after he defended it off the front foot and all it did was to trickle down towards stumps.
Upul Tharanga (8) had a few nervous moments before he chased a wide delivery from Khan that was wide outside off-stump and got a thick outside edge which was lapped up by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Comeback man, Irfan Pathan did not allow Dinesh Chandimal to get off the mark as he was stuck on the crease to a ball that pitched on about middle and leg and then straightened, rapped him on the back leg and the umpire had no hesitation in raising the finger.