In the deciding Test Match of the India’s Tour of Sri Lanka 3 Match Test Series, Sri Lanka won by eight wickets to take home the Idea Cup. The chances were even and both, India and Sri Lanka had won a Test each.

On the first day of the Test, after winning the toss on a good batting pitch the Indians failed to perform as Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis claimed 5 wickets for 56 runs and helped Sri Lanka restrain India at 249. He was assisted by pace bowler Dammika Prasad, who was debuting in his first test match. Prasad claimed Virender Sehwag at 21 runs, Rahul Dravid at 10 runs and Sachin Tendulkar at six runs.

The Indians struck early on as Ishant Sharma bowled Malinda Warnapura for eight runs and Sri Lanka closed the day on 14 runs for a wicket with Michael Vandort on 3 runs and Chaminda Vaas on naught.

The second day, the Sri Lankans scored 251 runs at the cost of six wickets with Kumar Sangakkara scoring a century, 107 runs not out. The ton also included 11 boundaries and was his 17th in 76 Tests. Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh picked up two wickets each .The Indian team had three casualties with Ishant Sharma pulling a leg muscle, V.V.S Laxman with a twisted ankle and Sachin Tendulkar injuring his left elbow while driving for a catch at short-leg in the middle session.

The third day Kumara Sangakara extended his score to 144 runs and Sri Lanka was all out for 396 runs. He was assisted by Jayawardene who batted sensibly and scored 49 runs. India started their second innings assertively as Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir scored an impressive 62 runs partnership. India were 161 for five at the end of the day, leading Sri Lanka by just 14 runs. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman stood unbeaten on the stumps at 46 and 17 runs respectively and were the last recognized batting pair on the Indian side.

The fourth day of the test the Indians were bowled out for 268 runs with Rahul Dravid scoring 68 runs and VVS Laxman scoring 61 runs not out. The Sri Lankans were chasing 122 runs to win. The hosts finished 123 for two after 33.1 overs to win the match and the series.

Though Sri Lanka collapsed to 22 for two at the beginning of the day, Malinda Warnapura scored 54 runs not out and Mahela Jayawardene scored 50 runs not out and accumilated an unbroken 101 run partnership. Jayawardene scored the match winning run by hitting Sourav Ganguly for a four.

Jayawardene said,”The guys showed a lot of character after the second Test. We have been consistent in recent years at home as well as away. The younger players took responsibility and the seniors pushed themselves,”

“Both Murali and Mendis bowled very well and kept the pressure on a good Indian batting line up”

Sangakkara who scored a century in the first innings said. “The aim was to get as many runs as possible and stretch the lead. I am happy to score a hundred, but this was one of the most difficult centuries considering the situation”

Mendis, who took a total of 26 wickets in the series, was named the Man of the Series while Murali finished a close second with 21 wickets.

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