Sangakkara half-century boosts Sri Lanka

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Colombo, Feb 6 (AFP) Kumar Sangakkara hit a solid 75 tohelp Sri Lanka post a challenging 277-9 against the WestIndies in the third and final one-dayer today despite SuliemanBenn''s maiden four-wicket haul.

Left-arm spinner Benn grabbed 4-38 off 10 disciplinedovers to reduce Sri Lanka to 244-8 from a healthy 205-3, butAngelo Mathews smashed an unbeaten 36 off 22 balls to help thehosts plunder 27 in the last two overs.

The late onslaught kept alive Sri Lanka''s hopes ofclinching the series after winning the second match onThursday. The first game was abandoned due to rain.

Sri Lanka made a brisk start after being put in to bat atthe Sinhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo as openers UpulTharanga (39) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (30) made 54 runs forthe first wicket.

Seamer Dwayne Bravo provided the breakthrough in theninth over when he had Dilshan caught behind after the openerhad hit one six and two fours in his 28-ball knock.

Benn got his first wicket when he bowled Tharanga, butformer skipper Mahela Jayawardene gave Sangakkara valuablesupport to steady the innings with a 95-run stand for thethird wicket.

Sangakkara went for a big shot after reaching hishalf-century, lofting left-arm spinner Nikita Miller oversquare leg for six, but fell just when he looked like steppingup the run rate in the closing overs.

The Sri Lankan captain cracked one six and fourboundaries in his 105-ball knock before being bowled by Benn,who then accounted for Chamara Kapugedera and ThilanSamaraweera.

Dwayne Bravo finished with 2-58. (AFP) SHN

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