Courtesy: International Cricket Council
Skipper MS Dhoni hit three runs off the last ball to earn India a tie in their tri one-day series international against Sri Lanka at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.
Dhoni failed to hit a winning boundary off the last ball by Lasith Malinga, leading both teams to finish level at 236 for nine off 50 overs.
Dhoni, who won last Sunday’s ODI against Australia in the final over, came close to repeating that success but his swipe over extra cover was cut off, and the last two Indian batsmen scampered through for three runs.
Dhoni was named man of the match with his unbeaten 58 off 69 balls and two catches in Sri Lanka’s innings. The two points lifted India to the top of the tri series standings ahead of Australia with Sri Lanka still yet to win in their three games.
Earlier sent in to field, Vinay Kumar (3-46) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2-30) led a discipline bowling attack to help India restrict Sri Lanka to 236/9.
Indian pacers Vinay Kumar and Irfan Pathan (1-38) gave India a prolific start as they took a wicket each inside 8 overs.
After losing three wickets early, Dinesh Chandimal (81) and Mahela Jayawardene (43) added 94-run stand for the fourth wickets to revive the Sri Lanka innings. But the duo fall in quick succession during the batting powerplay to give India edge in the final stages of their innings.
Some lofty shots by Sachithra Senanayake (22 not out) in the end helped Sri Lanka set a decent 237-run target for India after they were reduced to 210/7 in 46.3 overs from 173/3 in 36.1 overs.
Chandimal was run out trying to steal a cheeky single in the 38th over after he completed his fifth ODI fifty to revive Sri Lanka innings. The right-hander hit a six and six boundaries in his brilliant 91 balls knock.
Pacer Vinay Kumar trapped Jayawardene leg before to provide India a crucial breakthrough as he ended dangerous-looking 94-run fourth wicket partnership between Jayawardene and Chandimal.
Jayawardene played a vigilant but smart innings of 43 off 49 balls with just two boundaries before Vinay Kumar dismissed him.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin got better of patient Kumar Sangakkara (31) as Sri Lanka lost their third wicket with just 79 on board in 19.4 overs.
After losing two early wickets, Sangakkara revived the Lankan innings with Dinesh Chandimal as the duo added valuable 51-run for the third wicket. Sanga played a watchful innings of 31 off 56 balls, hitting just two boundaries.
India pacers Irfan Pathan and Vinay Kumar struck early to put India in front on Tuesday.
Comeback pacer Pathan dismissed Tillakaratne Dilshan (16) in the eighth over to reduce Lanka to 28/2 in 7.1 overs.
Asked to field first, India got off to a great start as pacer Vinay Kumar dismissed Upal Tharanga for nought with the second ball of the match.
Earlier, Sri Lanka skipper Jayawardene won the toss and decided to bat against India as the islanders look to register their first victory in the tri-series.
Virender Sehwag has back trouble and made way for the return of Sachin Tendulkar, while paceman Zaheer Khan has an injured calf, allowing Irfan Pathan to make his first appearance at the tournament.
“In the previous matches, we left it for the lower order batsmen. Yeah, we should have finished the previous game in the 48th over. When you are chasing it is very important to take it to the end. Sehwag has a back spasm and is out, Zaheer has a problem with his right calf. Sachin returns, and Irfan is back,” said Dhoni as India prepare to chase again for the fourth time in four matches.
Dhammika Prasad and Lahiru Thirimanne were left out of the Sri Lankan lineup, making way for Thisara Perera and Rangana Herath.