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Sri Lanka has the last laugh

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COCK-A-HOOP: Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Kulasekara celebrates with skipper Kumar Sangakkara the exit of the dangerous Virender Sehwag, one of his four victims, in the Idea Cup final on Wednesday. Man-of-the-Match Kulasekara and Chanaka Welegedara, who scalped three victims, restricted India to a total that Sri Lanka surpassed in the 49th over.
COCK-A-HOOP: Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Kulasekara celebrates with skipper Kumar Sangakkara the exit of the dangerous Virender Sehwag, one of his four victims, in the Idea Cup final on Wednesday. Man-of-the-Match Kulasekara and Chanaka Welegedara, who scalped three victims, restricted India to a total that Sri Lanka surpassed in the 49th over.

Mirpur: Sri Lanka defeated India by four wickets in the final here on Wednesday to win the cricket tri-series and lift the Idea Cup.

After their bowlers had restricted India to 245, Mahela Jayawardene (71 n.o.), Kumar Sangakkara (55), and Tillakaratne Dilshan (49) helped Sri Lanka complete the victory in the 49th over.

India, which had been rescued by Suresh Raina (106) after it was reduced to 60 for five, began well with the ball, removing Upul Tharanga in the first over of the chase under lights. But Ashish Nehra, who took the wicket, left the field after appearing to injure his groin.

Steadying the innings

Dilshan and Sangakkara settled, raising 93 for the second wicket to steady the innings. Although India fought to prolong the contest — Harbhajan Singh bowling well for figures of two for 41 — Jayawardene batted sensibly to guide Sri Lanka home with nine balls to spare.

Earlier, the famed Indian batting line-up, bolstered by the return of opener Virender Sehwag, produced a spineless display as the top half was back in the pavilion by the 11th over before Raina did the rescue act.

The left-hander, who struck 10 fours and a six off 115 balls for his third ODI hundred in his 87th match, shared a 106-run sixth-wicket partnership with Ravindra Jadeja (38) to revive the innings which eventually folded up in 48.2 overs.

For Sri Lanka, Man-of-the-Match Nuwan Kulasekara and Chanaka Welegedara, who destroyed the Indian top-order, took four and three wickets respectively. Meanwhile, Dhoni lashed out at the reckless shot selection of his batsmen and felt the ill-timed injury to paceman Ashish Nehra also dented their chances in the final. The Indian batsmen — barring Suresh Raina (106) and Ravindra Jadeja (38) and Virender Sehwag (42) — let the side down with their questionable shot selection and Dhoni did not even try to hide his anger.

“I don’t think the shot selection of our batsmen was great. Thanks to Suresh and Ravindra, we made it a contest but the batsmen should have been more careful,” a disgruntled Dhoni said.

SCOREBOARD

 India: V. Sehwag c Sangakkara b Kulasekara 42, G. Gambhir b Kulasekara 0, V. Kohli c Sangakkara b Welegedara 2, Yuvraj c Samaraweera b Welegedara 0, M.S. Dhoni c Sangakkara b Kulasekara 14, S. Raina b Welegedara 106, R. Jadeja lbw b Dilshan 38, Harbhajan lbw b Randiv 11, Zaheer c Samaraweera b Kulasekara 16, A. Nehra (not out) 2, S. Sreesanth b Perera 4, Extras (lb-4, w-6) 10, Total (in 48.2 overs) 245.

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-4, 3-16, 4-47, 5-60, 6-166, 7-213, 8-233, 9-237.

Sri Lanka bowling: Kulasekara 10-0-48-4, Welegedara 10-1-53-3, Thushara 6-1-26-0, Randiv 9-0-47-1, Perera 8.2-0-49-1, Dilshan 5-0-18-1.

Sri Lanka: U. Tharanga c Kohli b Nehra 0, T. Dilshan c Dhoni b Yuvraj 49, K. Sangakkara c Sehwag b Harbhajan 55, M. Jayawardene (not out) 71, T. Samaraweera b Jadeja 27, T. Kandamby lbw b Harbhajan 18, S. Randiv (run out) 17, N. Perera (not out) 6, Extras (lb-1, w-4, nb-1) 6, Total (for six wkts. in 48.3 overs) 249.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-93, 3-109, 4-157, 5-189, 6-228.

India bowling: Nehra 1.2-0-2-1, Sreesanth 9.3-0-72-0, Kohli 1.4-0-12-0, Zaheer 10-0-51-0, Harbhajan 10-0-41-2, Yuvraj 9-0-41-1, Jadeja 7-0-29-1.

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