Sri Lanka knocked India out of the ICC World T20 by beating them off the last ball of the game at St. Lucia. With this win, Sri Lanka has also enhanced their chances of making it to the semi-finals given that now, West Indies will need to beat Australia but also by a 23-run margin. >
India won the toss and decided to bat first, after bringing in Dinesh Karthik to open the innings in place of Murali Vijay. While the experiment did not work as the Indians lost Karthik pretty early, the innings was given a momentum by the pair of Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina. >
Both the southpaws were quick off the blocks and the manner in which they took on the opposition meant that the side was off to 96/1 in 11 overs and looked like getting to more than 180 rather easily.
Unfortunately for the Indians, it was here that Gambhir got out and the game turned around on its head. His 41 came off 32 balls, but once he was dismissed, the rest of the Indian batsmen just failed to get going with the bat.
Raina scored a 63, but MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan, as much as they tried, failed to get the ball off the square, as the Indians were restricted to 163/5 in the 20 overs.
This meant that for the Indians to qualify, they needed to restrict the Sri Lankans to 143 or less in their 20 overs. And the Indians looked like starting off rather well, as Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Jayawardene being sent back to the pavilion for almost next to nothing on the board.
It took Tillakaratne Dilshan to provide some momentum to the innings by getting to a 26-ball 33, which got the things moving, and then Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews got together. Sangakkara hasn’t been in the best of the forms in this tournament, but in the company of the fearless Mathews, found his full range of strokes.
The pair added 56 runs off eight overs, and though the side still needed 39 runs to get to the 144, with 32 deliveries in hand, the Indian morale was already drooping. Chamara Kapugedera came in and along with Mathews, not only overcame the 143-score, but also got the side to as close as 3 runs to win off one ball!
The last ball was smacked over the fence by Kapugedera and the match was won by Sri Lanka by five wickets. Mathews’ 46 won him the man of the match award.