COLOMBO: Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews hit half-centuries as Sri Lanka recovered from a poor start to post a challenging 286-5 against India in the third one-day international in Colombo on Saturday.
Sangakkara cracked a solid 73 while Mathews smashed a brisk 57-ball 71 not out to boost their team's hopes of gaining the lead in the five-match series, currently tied 1-1.
Sri Lanka were struggling at 20-3 after electing to bat in the day-night match, but Sangakkara and skipper Mahela Jayawardene (65) steadied the innings with a 121-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Mathews and Jeevan Mendis (45 not out) then plundered 104 runs in the last 12 overs to help their side set a stiff target. Mathews cracked one six and five fours, while Mendis hit one six and three fours in his 40-ball knock.
Fast bowler Zaheer Khan did the early damage when he removed openers Upul Tharanga (eight) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (four) in his opening three overs before seamer Irfan Pathan dismissed Dinesh Chandimal for no score.
But Jayawardene and Sangakkara defied the Indian attack for more than 23 overs before leg-spinner Rahul Sharma broke the stand when he trapped the Sri Lankan captain leg-before.
Jayawardene hit five fours in his 79-ball knock.
Sangakkara, who scored a century in the opening match of the series, also put on 41 for the fifth wicket with Mathews before being caught by Virat Kohli at point off paceman Ashok Dinda in the 38th over.
He hit five fours in his 95-ball knock.
Sri Lanka made one change from the side which played the last match, bringing in all-rounder Mendis in place of Lahiru Thirimanne.
India replaced paceman Umesh Yadav and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha with Dinda and Sharma. AGENCIES