|Ground:||Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur|
|Event:||Sri Lanka in India 2005/06|
DateLine: 31st October 2005
Mahendra Dhoni slammed a blistering 183 not out as India scored a superb six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the third one-day international at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium here on Monday.
The swashbuckling batsman set an Indian record of sixes, registered the highest score by a wicketkeeper in one-dayers and the second-highest by an Indian batsman as his team overhauled Sri Lanka's 298-4 with 23 balls to spare.
Dhoni struck 10 sixes and 16 fours to upstage his counterpart Kumar Sangakkara's career-best 138 not out and helped India to a 3-0 lead in the seven-match series.
The 24-year-old bettered Australian Adam Gilchrist's 172 against Zimbabwe in Hobart in 2002, the previous highest by a gloveman.
Dhoni took four sixes off Upul Chandana and two each off Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas and Farveez Maharoof to beat the mark of seven sixes by Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, who did it twice each.
His tally of sixes was just one short of Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya and Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, who jointly hold the world record of 11 sixes in a match.
Dhoni's score was three adrift of Sachin Tendulkar's Indian record of 186 not out set against New Zealand in Hyderabad six years ago and equalled the second-highest score -- by Sourav Ganguly.
Dhoni went in after the first-over dismissal of Tendulkar for two. He chased and edged a ball outside the off stump from Vaas after scores of 93 and 70 not out in the first two matches.
India raced to 148-2 in just 20 overs but Dhoni was in no mood to let up, dominating crucial stands of 92 with big hitting opener Virender Sehwagand 86 for the third wicket with captain Rahul Dravid (28).
"I had been told to go for my shots while being careful against (Muttiah) Muralitharan," said Dhoni. "It was really tiring because I had kept wicket for 50 overs before batting through the innings."
Dhoni, who suffered a bout of cramp and took Sehwag as a runner on 128, lofted the ball frequently on the off side. He took two early sixes off Vaas over the cover boundary and sealed the win by dispatching Dilshan over mid-wicket.
"My idea was to be there at the end of the innings and get the winning runs," said Dhoni. "Gilchrist's record was at the back of my mind though I never thought of going for a double century."
Earlier, Sangakkara slammed 13 boundaries and two sixes during his 147-ball knock to improve on his previous best of 103 not out against Kenya at Sharjah in 2003.
The 28-year-old stylish left-hander was involved in a brisk 151-run stand for the third wicket with Mahela Jayawardene (71) after the dismissals of opener Jayasuriya (15) and captain Marvan Atapattu (17).
Electing to bat, Sri Lanka got off to a sedate start as Jayasuriya played on to a delivery from seamer Ajit Agarkar and Atapattu struggled for 49 deliveries before edging one to wicketkeeper Dhoni off Jai Prakash Yadav.
The visiting side could not take advantage of the power play overs as they managed just 77 in the mandatory 20 overs with field restrictions which were taken by India on the trot.
But Jayawardene, who is returning home to get married on Wednesday before joining the team again during the seven-match series, came on to play the supporting role well.
The next match will be in the western city of Pune on Thursday.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)