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Sri Lanka square series

Thisara Perera taking a brilliant catch to get rid of Virender Sehwag.

Sri Lanka today levelled the five-match one-day series with India after speeding to an emphatic nine-wicket victory in the second One Day International at Hambantota.

All-rounders Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews shared six wickets as India were dismissed for just 138 after choosing to bat first.

The total was never going to be enough to trouble the hosts, who took fewer than 20 overs to chase down the total and square the series at 1-1.

Only a fighting 65 from opener Gautam Gambhir saw India avoid complete embarrassment, while Sri Lanka openers Upul Tharanga (59 not out) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (50) showed the way in reply.

Sri Lanka made only one change to the team which lost by 21 runs in the first game of the series, introducing Isuru Udana, while India remained unchanged.

The home side struggled initially in the windy conditions – Udana giving away 16 runs in his first over of 11 balls. But after India had coasted to 31 without giving a chance amid sloppy fielding, the hosts hit back through a superb spell from Perera, who took a wicket in each of his first three overs without conceding a run.

He started the damage with an athletic caught-and-bowled to claim the wicket of Virender Sehwag (15) at the start of a spell that gave him figures of 3-3-0-3 and left India on 41 for four after eight overs.

It was a spell from which the visitors never recovered. Perera also struck a vital blow in his second over to claim the prized scalp of Virat Kohli, who had notched up centuries in his three previous innings against Sri Lanka.

India briefly looked as if they could stage a recovery as Gambhir and R Ashwin put on 28 for the seventh wicket only for the partnership to end with a farcical run out after Ashwin was left stranded going for a third run but was sent back and failed to recover. (Sky)

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