Sri Lanka victory knocks India out of World Cup
Chamara Kapugedera hit a six from the last ball of the game to seal a 5 wicket victory over India which all but guarantees last years beaten finalists a semi final clash against England on Thursday.
With 3 runs needed from the last ball of the game Kapugedera remained calm to smash Nehra for a massive 6 which leaves the West Indies needing to thrash Australia in order to keep the hosts hopes alive.
Set a target of 164 Sri Lanka’s run chase got off to a dramatic start thanks to Ashish Nehra and Vinay Kumar who both struck inside the first two overs to leave Sri Lanka 6-2.
Nehra struck first to remove in form batsman Mahela Jayawardene who could only contribute a boundary before he was caught by Yusuf Pathan in the slips to give India the perfect start.
Sanath Jayasuriya suffered another disappointing innings after he was dismissed by Kumar without scoring in what could be his last Twenty20 international for Sri Lanka after being elected to the Sri Lanka parliament as an MP.
With two quick wickets India had got off to the best possible start. Having dismissed Jayawardene, the batsman of the tournament so far, the pressure was now on Sri Lanka who had to reach 143 to ensure they would stay ahead on India on run rate.
Tillakaratne Dilshan scored an important 33 runs from 26 balls as he looked to regain his form after suffering a miserable tournament which as seen him drop down to number three in the order.
Alongside Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara the pair built a vital partnership of 43 which eased the pressure as the Indian players started to look the more nervous.
Dilshan’s innings came to an end when he was dismissed by Yusuf Pathan in the 7th over to leave Sri Lanka 49-3. Despite the set back Sangakkara continued his impressive innings scoring 46 runs before he was bowled by Vinay Kumar.
With 5 overs remaining Sri Lanka needed another 59 runs for victory but Mathews remained calm to see them home to victory which almost guarantees them a place in the semi finals.
After Sunday’s crushing defeat against the hosts; India retuned to the batsman friendly Beausejour Stadium much to the relief of the Indian openers who suffered a torrid time in Barbados.
Raina; who struggled with the pace and bounce at the Kensington Oval topped scored for Indian with a vital contribution of 63 which came from just 47 balls including 7 fours and 1 six.
Lasith Malinga was once against the start bowling for Sri Lanka taking 2 wickets in his 4 overs while only conceding 25 runs as India reached 163-5 at the end of their innings.
He was supported by Gautam Gambhir (42) and MS Dhoni (23) as India looked to set Sri Lanka a large run chase knowing they had to win by 20 runs in order to leap frog Sri Lanka in Group F.
With so much riding on the outcome of the game Murali Vijay was replaced by Dinesh Karthik at the top of the order but his partnership with Gambhir only contributed 30 runs before he was dismissed by Malinga in the 4th over.
With Karthik (13) gone; Gambhir was joined at the crease by Raina and the pair built an excellent partnership of 66 from just 41 balls which turned the game in India’s favour thanks to some bug hitting from Raina.
With Gambhir back in the dugout MS Dhoni joined Raina at the crease with India 96-2.
Having promoted himself up the order Dhoni wasted little time in getting going thanks to a massive six of the bowling of Sanath Jayasuriya at the start of the 12th over.
The pair went on to build a partnership of 48 runs before Raina’s excellent innings was ended after he was caught by Mahela Jayawardene out on the midwicket boundary giving Thilan Thushara the big break through.
With Raina gone Sri Lanka increased the pressure on India by dismissing Yuvraj Singh (1) and Yusuf Pathan (13) as the 2007 champions innings went off the boil.
With 163 runs behind them the Indian bowlers will now have to restrict Sri Lanka to a total of less then 143 runs in their run chase to leap frog them in Group F to keep their semi final hopes alive.