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Pathan brothers lead India to victory

India pulled off a thrilling three-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the one-off Twenty20 match here Tuesday night.

India were rescued by the duo of Yusuf and Irfan Pathan. The brothers put on a 59 run partnership in just 4.1 overs to clinch victory for the visitors.

India suffered a huge blow as they lost the wickets of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja in quick session.

While Dhoni was cleaned up by Bandara, Rohit was caught by Mubarak off Jayasuriya as he tried to hit one out of the park. Ravindra Jadeja was then bowled by Bandara to reduce India to 7 wickets down with just 115 runs on the board.

After playing a brilliant knock of 35 runs, Suresh Raina departed to a good catch by de Saram off the bowling of Bandara as India lost their 4th wicket with 99 runs on the board.

Yuvraj Singh smashed his way to a 21 ball 32 before departing to a good catch behind the wickets by Dilshan off Mubarak.

Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina steadied the Indian innings with a half century partnership after the visitors has lost the openers early on in the innings.

Moments after losing the wicket of Sehwag, India suffered another crucial blow as Gautam Gambhir took the long walk back to the pavilion after being caught by Weeraratne off Thushara.

Chasing 172 for a win, India suffered an early blow as they lost the wicket of Virender Sehwag to a brilliant piece of fielding. The dashing opener was run out for 1 as he tried to steal a quick single.

Sri Lankan skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan struck a brilliant 61 off just 47 balls to help his team post a challenging total of 171/4 on the board in the Twenty20 game being played here at the R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday.

The home team looked to be heading for a mammoth score but the Indian bowlers managed to peg them back with some tight bowling toward the end. Ishant Sharma gave just three runs off the last over of the innings.

After playing a brilliant knock (61 off 47 balls), the Lankan skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan departed to a brilliant running catch by Suresh Raina off Ishant Sharma.

Tillakaratne Dilshan played a captainís knock as Sri Lanka looked to post a challenging total in front of Indiaís strong batting line-up. The Lankan skipper hit a blistering half-ton off just 44 balls that included 6 fours.

Moments after claiming the wicket of Mubarak, India got another important breakthrough in the form of Chamara Kapugedara, who was out caught by Sehwag off Yusuf Pathan. The batsman made 16.

India claimed the second wicket of the Lankan innings in the form of Jehan Mubarak who was caught by Yusuf Pathan off his own bowling.

India got the crucial wicket of Sanath Jayasuriya just when he threatened to bat the Indians out of the game. The southpaw, who made 33 off just 17 balls, was out to a brilliant catch by Ishant Sharma at mid-on off the bowling of Irfan Pathan.

Sanath Jayasuriya helped the Lankans get off to a flier as he smashed Ishant Sharma for 18 runs in the fourth over including a four and two mammoth sixes. The home team brought up their fifty in the 5th over.

Batting first, Sri Lanka were off to a good start as the opening pair of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya plucked 20 runs off the first 3 overs. The Lankans got an early respite when Irfan Pathan dropped a skier to give Dilshan a new lease of life in the first over of the innings.

Sri Lanka skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan won the toss and elected to bat first in the Twenty20 international being played here at the R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday.

India have decided to bring in Zaheer Khan in place of L Balaji from the team that lost the last one-day international against Lanka on Sunday. Ravindra Jadeja gets his first T20 game.

Sri Lanka go into the match without big names such as Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis and will be banking on the experience of Sanath Jayasuriya to get them off to a blazing start.

The first ever Twenty20 international match in Sri Lanka promises to be an enthralling battle full of big hits. The Indians, who thrashed the home team 4-1 in the recently concluded one-day series are looking in ominous touch while the new look Sri Lankan side under Dilshan will be out there to prove a point.

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