x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Sri Lanka canter into final

Dinesh Chandimal scored his first international century to steer Sri Lanka to a six-wicket win over India in the tri-nations one-day series yesterday.

HARARE // Dinesh Chandimal scored his first international century to steer Sri Lanka to a six-wicket win over India in the tri-nations one-day series yesterday. The 20-year-old right-hander hit 111 off 118 balls at Harare Sports Club as Sri Lanka reached 270 for four with 10 balls to spare in response to India's 268 for nine. The Sri Lankans now meet the hosts, Zimbabwe, in Wednesday's final. The two teams also play tomorrow in the last of the preliminary matches.

"I am very happy with my batting performance," said Chandimal. "It was a good pitch, and I played my normal game." Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lanka captain, added: "I said in the morning, we want to finish it off today. Our players did really well. "We kept the pressure up through the fielding, keeping the fielders up. I told the players we needed to improve the fielding, and they did a really good job in the field, stopping good shots, taking difficult catches. I'm really happy with Chandimal's batting, playing so well in his second game."

Suresh Raina, the stand-in captain for India, refused to blame his team's elimination on players' lack of experience of 50-over cricket. "They have been playing first-class cricket back home and they have been doing well," said Raina who saw Virat Kohli top-score for his side with 68. "The youngsters need to raise their game. They need to work on their fitness, work on their game. They need to work on their mistakes and move on.

"I am not happy at all. All the credit goes to Sri Lanka, they batted really well, especially Dinesh. "We didn't bowl well, especially with the new ball. Ashwin bowled well, and he batted well too. We haven't been good throughout the tournament." * With agencies