From the highs of becoming the number one team in the world to the depths of crashing to a 139-run loss, India seem not to have taken a lot to traverse the entire range! With the dress-rehearsal for the finals between the same teams turning out to be such a one-sided game, the Indians will need some kind of tonic going into the finals of the tournament.
The RPS in Colombo has a special affinity towards teams that bat first, and Sri Lanka decided to bat first on winning the toss. T.Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya gave the hosts a rollicking start, as the southpaw finally found form to smash the Indian bowling around in the first PowerPlay. Even after Dilshan’s dismissal, Jayasuriya kept up the run-rate, and despite the fall of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, the Lankans kept scoring the runs. >
Jayasuriya got out of his rut with a well compiled 98 that came off only 79 balls, but once he fell, Angelo Mathews followed soon after and the Lankans looked like they were in trouble at 176/5 in the 31st over.
Thilina Kandamby then joined Chamara Kapugedera and the pair added some valuable runs for the sixth wicket; Kandamby smashing the Indian bowling around an unbeaten 91 off only 73 balls. By the time Kapugedera was dismissed by a run-out, Sri Lanka looked good to get to 300 and they surely did; scoring 308 in the fifty overs.
India started well enough, getting to 32 in the 6th over, before Dinesh Karthik nicked one to the slips. Even then, there was a 35-run stand for the second wicket, which came a trifle slower than what the Indians would have liked, but at 67/1 in 14 overs, they had set a nice foundation. At this stage, Tendulkar went for a big hit and was caught at the mid-on off a slower one, to trigger a collapse. Yuvraj Singh scraped through to 16, Raina was gone off the first ball, M.S.Dhoni was bowled for eight, while Yusuf Pathan scored a run. Rahul Dravid was the only batsman to get to 47, but even was out early, and the Indians capitulated to the medium pace bowling of Mathews for 168 all out in the 38th over.
Mathews picked up a whopping six wickets, and conceded only 20 in the six overs he bowled. He was the man of the match.
The finals will be played at the same ground on Monday.