Cricket-Shah's 82 paves way for England to level series

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DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka, Oct 4 (Reuters) England batsman Owais Shah scored 82 to set up a 65-run victory as his side levelled the series against Sri Lanka in the second one-day international today.

Shah's 92-ball knock guided England to 234 for eight after they had collapsed to 61 for 4.

The hosts lost wickets steadily in reply to slump to 126 for nine before a last-wicket stand of 43 between Jehan Mubarak (44no) and Dilhara Fernando (20) lent their effort respectability.

Shah shared partnerships of 78 with skipper Paul Collingwood (42) for the fifth wicket and then 70 with Graham Swann (34) to lift the tourists after their shaky start.

Swing bowler Ryan Sidebottom then struck two important blows with the new ball, removing Upul Tharanga (8) with his second ball and then claiming the prized scalp of Sanath Jayasuriya (10), who cut straight to cover in his 400th ODI.

Kumar Sangakkara was dropped twice early and battled for 54 minutes for his nine before the left-hander nicked a catch behind off paceman Stuart Broad.

Mahela Jayawardene (23) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (29) repaired some of the damage with a 52-run stand for the fifth wicket before Graham Swann bowled Dilshan through the gate and Jayawardene flicked a slower ball from Collingwood to mid-wicket.

Sidebottom, Collingwood, Broad and Swann finished two wickets apiece.

Sri Lanka's bowlers had started well after England chose to bat first, making early inroads and then bowling consistently straight.

Opener Alastair Cook (1) was brilliantly caught by a diving Mahela Jayawardene at first slip having edged a Chaminda Vaas outswinger.

Farveez Maharoof trapped Ian Bell (18) lbw and had Phil Mustard (28) caught at cover off a leading edge.

Kevin Pietersen laboured through 41 deliveries for his 12 runs before pulling a short ball straight to mid-wicket.

England were left struggling on 61 for 4 in the 19th over before Collingwood and Shah rebuilt the innings.

Fernando ended the partnership, trapping Collingwood lbw, but Shah was then supported by all-rounder Swann.

Maharoof was the pick of Sri Lanka's bowlers taking three for 30 from nine overs.

The third game in the five-match series is in Dambulla on Sunday.

REUTERS AM KP2342

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