Sri Lanka in pursuit of 246 to win the final, lost Upul Tharanga in the 3rd ball of the first over when the left hander edged Ashish Nehra to Virat Kohli at second slip. Tharanga was also dismissed in the previous game against India, playing at a delivery with minimum foot movement.
Sangakkara and Dilshan batted with confidence to put on 93 runs for the second wicket. Both players stroked the Indian seam attack with ease by driving the full length deliveries down the ground. After Ashish Nehra’s injury Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth were also guilty of bowling short, and giving the batsman too much width to free their arms. Sangakkara and Dilshan took advantage and scored at a quick pace with the Indian bowlers being put away for boundaries on both sides of the wicket.
India got a vital break through, in the first delivery after the drinks break when Dilshan, batting on 49, cut a ball close to his body off Yuvraj Singh for Dhoni to hold on to a good catch. The Sri Lankan captain got to his fifty with a mistimed cover drive off Harbhajan. The Indian off spinner got Sangakkara caught off a good off break which griped and spun and Sehwag held onto a sharp catch at second slip with the total on 109.
It was a rare evening at Mirpur, the Indians may have scented victory when the spinners found the ball gripping and turning and when the 4th wicket that of Samaraweera was scalped by a spinner. Samaraweera after cutting a shortish ball for a boundary, played on to Jadeja’s last delivery of the over with the total on 157.
Samaraweera will be disappointed that he was bowled for 27, when he should have batted on with Mahela Jayawardena to see Sri Lanka through. Harbhajan in his last over stuck a big blow by dismissing Thilina Kandamby LBW for 18, Sri Lanka lost their 5th wicket on 189, leaving them needing 57 from 98 balls. The target looked relatively within reach but Jayawardena had to bat till the end.Suraj Randiv who made a fifty against India in the last match batted well for his 17, but was run out off a direct hit by Jadeja during the batting power play with the total on 228.
It was at this time that Mahela Jayewardena showed his class. He batted through to ensure that Sri Lanka won the Ideas Cup with 9 balls to spare. He remained unbeaten on 71 facing 81 deliveries with 5 scintillating boundaries and stroked three of them in the 49th over. The Indian spinners scalped 4 out of the 6 wickets; they also missed Ashish Nehra who was sidelined very early in the day with an injury. The dew did not set in today as much as expected, hence it’s fair to state that Sri Lanka were worthy winners and turned out to be the better side on the day.
INDIA 245 ALL OUT IN 48.2 OVERS
SRI LANKA 249 FOR 6 WICKETS IN 48.3 OVERS
MAHELA JAYAWARDENA 71 NOT OUT
KUMAR SANGAKKARA 55
TM DILSHAN 49
ASHISH NEHRA 1.2-0-2-1
HARBAJHAN SINGH 10-0-41-2
YUVRAJ SINGH 9-0-41-1
RAVINDRA JADEJA 7-0-29-1
Kumar Sangakkaras’ decision to bowl first after winning the toss was predictable. The Sri Lankan captain incidentally has a hundred percent record in this tournament, with the all important toss. Sri Lanka made just one change to their playing eleven by replacing Suranga Lakmal with Kulasekera from the team that played against India in the last outing.
India made three changes, replacing Dinesh Karthic with Virendra Shewag, Amit Mishra with Harbhajan Singh and Sundeep Tyagi with Zaheer Khan. India put into bat, and taking into consideration the dew factor later in the evening, was under pressure to get a 300 plus total on a good batting pitch.
Sri Lanka’s decision to play Kulasekera paid off, when he bowled Gautham Gambir round his legs off the 3rd ball of the match. Both seam bowlers Kulasekera and Welegedera complimented each other by bowling in the right areas. Virat Kohli who made an unbeaten hundred against Bangladesh, opened the face of his bat and tried glide an out swinger from left arm seam bowler Welegedera and only succeeded in giving Sangakkara a regulation catch.
Virendra Shewag scored freely despite the early set back of losing two important wickets in the first two overs. The right hander executed three fours off Kulasekera and in his next over, driving him square on the offside and plating a great on drive by closing the face of the bat to precision.
Welegedera then gave Sri Lanka another break through when Yuvraj Singh played away from his body. Samaraweera took an excellent catch at second slip timing his jump to perfection t o hold nto to the ball.
India having lost their first three wickets for 16 runs was in deep trouble. Dhony and Shewag stuck to their task by scoring freely and seemed settled for a big partnership. Dhony after driving Kulasekera down to the cover point fence for a well timed boundary, paid the penalty when he opened the face of his bat a shade too early, to give his counterpart Kumar Sangakkara, another easy catch.
India suffered another setback when Shewag, batting on 42, gave Sangakkara his 300th victim when he edged a delivery from Kulasekera to leave his team looking down the barrel at 60 for 5 wickets.
Suresh Raina and Ravi Jadeja did a sterling job for India by accumulating 106 runs for the 6th wicket. Jadeja after grafting 38 runs was ruled LBW off part time spinner Dilshan with India on 166.
Suresh Raina held India’s innings together by scoring a well compiled 106 before Chanaka Welegedera comprehensively bowled him in the batting power play over. India will be disappointed that their strong batting line up was dismissed for 245 runs in 48.2 overs. Kulasekera and Welegedera bowled exceptionally well taking 4 wickets and 3 wickets respectively. For India Suresh Raina’s 106 in 155 balls with 15 boundaries and one six was outstanding.
MAIN SCORE CARD
INDIA 245 ALL OUT IN 48.2 OVERS
SURESH RAINA 106
VIRENDRA SHEWAG 42
RAVINDRA JADEJA 38
NUWAN KULASEKERA 4 FOR 48
CHANAKA WELEGEDERA 3 FOR 53