India win fourth straight
Sri Lanka's heavy defeat takes gloss of Muralitharan record
Last Updated: 05/02/09 6:52pm
Gambhir: sixth ODI century
Fourth One Day International
India 332-5 (G Gambhir 150, M S Dhoni 94) v Sri Lanka 265 (K C Sangakkara 56)
India beat Sri Lanka by 67 runs
India continued their dominance of the one-day series in Sri Lanka with a 67-run victory in the fourth match.
Gautam Gambhir made 150 to power the tourists to a total of 332-5 after they had opted to bat first in Colombo.
The left-hander's dismissal, caught behind in the 48th over, provided Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan with his 503rd one-day international victim, taking him above former Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram as the all-time leading wicket taker in the 50-over format.
Sri Lanka had reached 108-2 in the 18th over of their run chase when play was suspended for just over 20 minutes. India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to take his players off the field after an object was thrown from the crowd in the direction of one of his fielders.
After discussions between the umpires and security staff at the R Premadasa Stadium, the players returned to the middle and India's bowlers pressed home their advantage against a spiralling required rate.
Kumar Sangakkara's 56 was the top score as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 265 in 48 overs.
The result is India's ninth consecutive victory in one-day internationals, having also beaten England 5-0 at home last November in a series that was cut short by two games due to the Mumbai terror attacks.
Tendulkar, Zaheer rested
India, without the rested Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan, started slowly and lost opener Virender Sehwag (5) in the third over, caught by Sanath Jayasuriya at mid-off from Nuwan Kulasekara's bowling.
The innings gained momentum through Dhoni, who had promoted himself to number three, and Gambhir.
Dhoni smashed Angelo Mathews (0-24) through the covers to bring up his side's 100 in the 18th over before lofting Muralitharan over deep midwicket to complete a 53-ball half-century shortly afterwards.
Dilhara Fernando made a superb one-handed catch to remove Dhoni off the bowling of Jayasuriya just six runs short of what would have been his first ODI century in seven months.
Gambhir kept the scoreboard ticking over before Kulasekara dismissed Yuvraj Singh (5) and Yusuf Pathan (0) with successive balls to reduce India to 207-4.
Fernando proved an expensive introduction to the attack and Gambhir had racked up nine boundaries by the time he reached his hundred with 239 on the board.
Farveez Maharoof (0-60) and Kulasekara (3-63) returned at the death but could not prevent Gambhir reaching 150 - featuring 14 fours and a six from 147 balls - before being dismissed by Muralitharan (1-66) from the first delivery of the 48th over.
Suresh Raina flogged 49 not out to take India well beyond 300.
Sri Lanka set about their pursuit in hasty fashion with Tillakaratne Dilshan and Jayasuriya putting on a quickfire 55 before the latter was caught at slip by Rohit Sharma off the bowling of Irfan Pathan for 27 in the eighth over.
Dilshan (38) fell five overs later when he top-edged a Praveen Kumar short ball to Yuvraj, leaving the hosts on 79-2.
Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene then steadied the ship either side of the unscheduled delay, but tight bowling from spinners Pragyan Ojha and Sehwag saw the scoring rate plummet.
Jayawardene's (28) frustration got the better of him in the 26th over when he edged behind aiming a late cut at a Sehwag delivery.
Thilina Kandamby reached 10 before being trapped lbw by Yusuf (1-13) to leave the hosts struggling on 163-4.
Sangakkara's innings came to an end when was caught by Gambhir off Sehwag (2-43) for 56. Yuvraj (1-37) then accounted for Angelo Mathews (6) and Ojha (1-34) dismissed Chamara Kapugedera (16) as India closed in on victory.
Irfan (3-58) dismissed Farveez Maharoof (28) and Muralitharan (0) with successive balls in the 43rd over before Kumar (2-38) claimed the wicket of last man Fernando (9) to seal the win.
Sri Lanka must win the fifth and final match - also in Colombo - on Sunday to avoid a whitewash.