Dilshan draws Sri Lanka level
India fail to defend 301 in Nagpur
Last Updated: 18/12/09 6:07pm
Dilshan: Fifth ODI century
Second One Day International
India 301-7 (M S Dhoni 107, S K Raina 68, V Kohli 54) v Sri Lanka 302-7 (T M Dilshan 123)
Sri Lanka beat India by 3 wkts
Another breathtaking century from Tillakaratne Dilshan inspired Sri Lanka to a series-levelling victory against India in Nagpur.
The explosive opener smashed 123 off 113 deliveries as Sri Lanka chased down over 300 in a one-day international played on the subcontinent for the first time.
Set 302 for victory, thanks largely to India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's classy 107, Dilshan propelled the visitors to the perfect start before Angelo Mathews saw Sri Lanka over the line with three wickets and five balls to spare.
The result means the five-match series is now level at 1-1 and the teams will reconvene at Cuttack on December 21.
Dhoni's decision to bat first looked to have backfired when star batsman Virender Sehwag (4) went cheaply, caught behind by Kumar Sangakkara in the first over from left-arm paceman Chanaka Welegedara.
Number three Gautam Gambhir (2) was then run out in unfortunate circumstances, colliding with Welegedara while attempting a single off the bowler.
At 19-2, India were in a spot of bother, but the home side recovered courtesy of a 62-run partnership between Sachin Tendulkar (43) and Virat Kohli (54).
Tendulkar was eventually dismissed by the returning Ajantha Mendis who lured the 'Little Master' down the track and Sangakkara whipped off the bails.
Dhoni then joined Kohli in the middle and the pair added 51 runs in under 10 overs before debutant off-spinner Suraj Randhiv trapped the latter in front for his first wicket in international cricket.
Left-hander Suresh Raina joined his captain at the crease and the pair amassed the partnership of the innings to propel India towards 300.
Raina hammered four boundaries and three sixes, reaching his 13th ODI half-century off just 44 deliveries before eventually holing out in the deep.
Dhoni, dropped by opposite number Sangakkara on 49, was grassed again by Mendis on 94 before reaching his sixth ODI century with two runs off Mathews.
Sri Lanka openers Dilshan and Upul Tharanga got Sri Lanka's chase off to a flyer, the opening batsmen adding 102 for the first wicket in a mere 14 overs.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh provided the much-needed breakthrough for India when he had a driving Tharanga caught at slip when on 37.
Sangakkara was then run out for a breezy 21 and Dilshan, who had raised his half-century off just 31 deliveries, moved to his fifth ODI century more slowly as India's bowlers dominated play.
Dilshan reached the three-figure mark - off 91 deliveries - and then smashed Ashish Nehra for two consecutive boundaries to leave Sri Lanka needing 117 from the last 20 overs.
Nehra ended Dilshan's stay with a yorker, Sri Lanka still needing 89 from 85 deliveries at that stage.
Mahela Jayawardene (39) then fell to Zaheer Khan but Sri Lanka, with a batting powerplay in hand, still held the edge.
Thilina Kandamby (27) and Mathews (37no) battled on, the two adding 32 for the fifth wicket before the latter steered Sri Lanka home with five balls to spare.