Up against what would have been the biggest chase ever at Gabba, Indians were never in the game but as (and if) they do a post-mortem of the match, they'll find that they were thoroughly beaten in all three department by an inspired Sri Lankan side. Stand in captain Virender Sehwag miscalculated bowlers so bad that he had to bowl part-timers for last two overs and then there was no resistance from top order and even three dropped catches by Sri Lankans wasn't enough.
It was Irfan Pathan heroics that margins was cut short to 51. here's how the story unfolded..
The scoresSri Lanka 289/6 in 50 overs.
India 238 allout in 45.1 overs.
Full scorecard : game 8, 21 Feb 2012.
Into their 12th match of the tour, Indians lost the toss for the 9th time and found themselves bowling on a flat looking Brisbane stripe and soon Lankan openers had raced to half century stand against the new ball. Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan put on 95 runs which now is the best opening stand of this tri-series from any team. experienced Kumar Sangakkara was third wicket to fall inside 8 overs for just 29 runs which had opened a window of hope for Indians but youngsters Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne stood tall to put on 73 fine runs for the 4th wicket. Now, it was time to accelerate with wickets in hand and Angelo Mathews did it smartly, taking calculated risks, stretching total to 289 runs = almost out of Indian grasp.
It ain't no secret that Lasith Malinga is one of the best bowler of slog overs and hence Sri Lankan captains use him for very few overs with the new ball but once again Virender Sehwag didn't put a price on his wicket, trying a half-hearted upper cut and was held out at third man for a duck.
Sachin Tendulkar, in his run a ball 22, timed the ball perfectly but perished trying another cute cut. Gautam Gambhir too found gaps at will but trying to cut a delivery gave away an easy catch at smartly set gully fielder.
3 down for 54 runs on board, youngsters Virat Kohli and Suresh showed some resilience with 88 run stand which is now the best by any Indian pair in this tri-series but as soon as they were separated with asking rate hovering over 7 an over, Lankans knew it was just a matter of time before they marched ahead of their good neighours in the points table.
Irfan Pathan, trying to make a comeback into Indian team, showed the glimpses of the allrounder he always had in him. Having taken two wickets with the ball and fielded aggressively, Pathan's bat seemed broader than any other Indian batsman in this match or in even on this whole tour. Going better than run a ball, Pathan smashed 7 fours in his 34 ball stay, keeping Indian hope alive with wickets falling at other end but no miracle happened. Thisara Perera took a good catch in his follow-through to end the match.
Indians made 46 runs in in batting powerplay, they best of three team in this series. Nuwan Kulasekara was named man of the match for wrecking up Indian top order.
Run out? not out!Lahiru Thirimanne batted well, but he ran well between the wickets as well. Interestingly, R Ashwin of India ran him out at the non striking end as he left the crease before bowler had done into bowling action but Indian captain Virender Sehwag took the appeal back. Interestingly, Thirimanne continued to walk out of his crease after the incidence, which shows he not be aware of changes in rule ICC effected from 1st October 2011.