Captain Cool launches India to Cup title
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Another saviour's knock of 45 from captain MS Dhoni , and a fighting half century from Rohit Sharma, carried India to a thrilling last-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the final of the Celkon Mobile Cup tri-nation series at Queen's Park Oval on Thursday.
Dhoni's heroics cemented his global image as one of the best finishers in the game when he secured a stunning last over victory for India, lashing 16 from three balls to end the match with two balls to spare.
India entered the final over needing 15 runs off six balls before two sixes and a four from the blade of Dohni helped them to 203 for 9, off 49.4 overs , replying to Sri Lanka's 201, all out in 48.5 overs.
India took the Cup and US $60 000 for their win in a series that also included West Indies.
Sri Lanka managed to gain a tight grip on the game , as India slipped from 139 for four in the 23rd over to 167 for eight by the 42nd .
Opener Rohit Sharma's dogged 58 off 89 balls, which included crucial partnerships of 50 with Virat Kholi and 62 with Dinesh Khartik , seemed in vain when India were in a difficult situation of needing 24 runs from the last 30 balls with tail-enders Vinay Kumar and Ishant Sharma left to support their captain.
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath titlted the match in favour of Sri Lanka, as he picked up two quick wickets in the 38th over and finished with four for 20 from his 10 overs, before Dohni and Sharma combined for the rescue act.
Vinay-Kumar perished on the second ball of the 47th over , trying a forcing shot off Angelo Matthews, leaving Sharma to join his captain with India on 182 for 9 and needing 20 off 18 balls.
Sharma , who seemed affected by the tension, survived two run-out scares at that critical stage but lasted long enough to help the team home , scoring two not out off 17 balls.
When they were earlier sent in, Sri Lanka struggled for most of their innings on a testing pitch, that offered bounce and encouraged the ball to seam around. After being 49 for two off 14 overs, they failed to capitalise on a fighting 122-run third -wicket partnership between Kumar Sangakara (71) and Lahiru Thirimanne (46) and finished with a total that seemed below par.
Sangakarra, who showed the right balance between defence and attack and timed his strokes perfectly, hit his 77th ODI half century before he was fourth out in the 40th over , with the score on 176.
In one memorable over , the sixth bowled by pacer Ishant Sharma, Sangakarra lashed 15 runs but the important century stand with Thirimanne was broken on the last ball of that over as Thirimanne attempted to charge Sharma and got as far as Bhuvneshwar Kumar .
Sangakarra , who faced 100 balls, went four runs later as he was caught off spinner Ashwin. .
Thereafter, the Sri Lankan batsmen were unable to further resist the Indian bowlers and the last six wickets tumbled for 30 runs, as Ravindra Jadeja took for for 23, and left India with more balls than runs in chasing the target.
As it turned out, the World champions narrowly got home by a whisker.
Sri Lanka 201 in 48.5 overs – (Kumar Sangakara 71, Lahiru Thirimanne 46, Mahela Jayawardene 22; RA Jadeja 4/23, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/24).
India 203 for 9 off 49.4 overs – (Rohit Sharma 58, MS Dhoni 45 not out, Suresh Raina 32; R. Herath 4/20)
Sri Lanka Innings:
WU Tharanga c wkp Dhoni b Kumar 11
M Jayawardene c Ashwin b Kumar 22
KC Sangakkara c Vinay Kumar b Ashwin 71 (100b)
L Thirimanne c Kumar b I Sharma 46 (72b)
AD Mathews* c Vinay Kumar b I Sharma 10
KJ Perera st wkp Dhoni b Ashwin 2
LD Chandimal c Ashwin b Jadeja 5
RB Herath st wkp Dhoni b Jadeja 5
RMS Eranga not out 5
SL Malinga c Kumar b Jadeja 0
RAS Lakmal st wkp Dhoni b Jadeja 1
Extras (b 4, lb 6, w 13) 23
Total (all out off 48.5 overs) 201
Fall of wickets 1-27 (Tharanga, 6.6 ov), 2-49 (Jayawardene, 13.1 ov), 3-171 (Thirimanne, 37.5 ov), 4-174 (Sangakkara, 39.1 ov), 5-176 (Perera, 39.5 ov), 6-183 (Chandimal, 42.2 ov), 7-193 (Mathews, 45.2 ov), 8-196 (Herath, 46.1 ov), 9-196 (Malinga, 46.3 ov), 10-201 (Lakmal, 48.5 ov)
Bowling: B Kumar 8-4-24- 2 (1w), R Vinay Kumar 6-1-15- 0, I Sharma 8-1-45-2 (1w), V Kohli 3-0-17-0 (1w), SK Raina 6-0-25-0, R Ashwin 10-0-42-2 (1w), RA Jadeja 7.5-1-23-4 (1w)
RG Sharma b Herath 58 ( 89b)
S Dhawan c †Sangakkara b Eranga 16
V Kohli c wkp Sangakkara b Eranga 2
KD Karthik c Jayawardene b Herath 23 (58b)
SK Raina c wkp Sangakkara b Lakmal 32 (51b)
MS Dhoni* not out 45 (52 b)
RA Jadeja lbw b Herath 5
R Ashwin lbw b Herath 0
B Kumar lbw b Malinga 0
R Vinay Kumar c sub (S Senanayake) b Mathews 5
I Sharma not out 2 (17b)
Extras (b 2, lb 2, w 11) 15
Total (9 wkts off 49.4 overs) 203
Fall of wickets 1-23 (Dhawan, 8.4 ov), 2-27 (Kohli, 10.4 ov), 3-77 (Karthik, 22.6 ov), 4-139 (RG Sharma, 31.1 ov), 5-145 (Raina, 34.1 ov), 6-152 (Jadeja, 37.1 ov), 7-152 (Ashwin, 37.2 ov), 8-167 (Kumar, 41.5 ov), 9-182 (Vinay Kumar, 46.2 ov)
Bowling: S Eranga 9.4-2-50-2 (1w), S Lakmal 10-1-33-1 (3w), AD Mathews 10-1-38-1, L. Malinga 10-1-58-1 (3w), R. Herath 10-2-20-4
RESULT: India won by 1 wicket.
Man-Of-The-Match – MS Dhoni
Umpires – Nigel Llong (Eng) and Peter Nero (WI)
TV Umpire – Joel Wilson
Match referee - David Boon (Australia)