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Sri Lanka lose by 80 runs
Bandula Molligoda - 22 March 1999

NAGPUR, India, March 22.

A superb allround effort by Saurav Ganguly helped India beat World Champions Sri Lanka by 80 runs in the second match of the Pepsi tri nation series limited over cricket tournament played here on Monday.

Ganguly hammered an unbeaten knock of 130 and then took 4 wickets for 21 runs and went on to win the man of the match award. Ganguly who completed his sixth one-day century, was also involved in a record second wicket stand of 236 runs along with Rahul Dravid who made a contribution of 116 runs.

Their partnership was India's best for the second wicket surpassing the 231 by Sachin Tendulkar and Navjot Sidhu against Pakistan at Sharjah in 1996. Ganguly who was dropped twice before he had reached his half century carried his bat throughout the innings and delighted his fans while hoisting two sixes.

Ganguly received good support from Dravid who scored his third one day century with the help of twelve boundaries and a six. In reply Sri Lanka were dismissed for 207 runs in 38 overs signalling their 14th defeat from the last 16 one day internationals.

Opening bowler Ajit Agarkar who was making a return to international cricket after a four month absence did the early damage with 3 for 14 from six overs. The 21 year old from Bombay struck in his fifth delivery by removing Russel Arnold and in the next over he sent back Mahela Jayawardena to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 15 for 2.

Skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and Hashan Tillekeratne revived the innings with a 81-run stand for the fifth wicket. Ranatunga played a captain's knock of 46 off 43 deliveries and was really unlucky to be ruled leg before off Ganguly who then polished off the tail with figures of 4 for 21.

Sri Lanka who lost to Pakistan by nine runs in Friday's opener of the tri nation series, must win both their return matches to retain hopes of entering the final on April 4.

Source: The Daily News