Karthik Top Scores As India Hit 268 In Asia Cup Final
India 268-6 (Karthik 66, Sharma 41) v Sri Lanka
Asia Cup Final, Dambulla
India produced a solid batting effort to post 268 for six in the Asia Cup final and set defending champions Sri Lanka a challenging target in Dambulla.
Although opener Dinesh Karthik was the only man to reach a half-century, no Indian batsman failed to reach double figures and partnerships grew throughout the innings.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Karthik added 38 with Gautam Gambhir for the first wicket before Gambhir was run out by Upul Tharanga and Nuwan Kulasekara.
Karthik and Virat Kohli (28) then put on 62 for the second wicket during the first two Power Plays and their stand was broken when Kohli was caught by Kumar Sangakkara off Lasith Malinga.
Karthik was the next to fall when he became off-spinner Thilina Kandamby's first international wicket - caught by Mahela Jayawardene having made 66 in 84 balls with nine fours. Kandamby struck again to remove Mahendra Singh Dhoni for 38 when he was caught by Kulasekara.
Rohit Sharma (41) and Suresh Raina (29) then forged a partnership worth 40 for the fifth wicket to keep India on course for a competitive total and despite Kulasekara and Malinga striking respectively to dismiss them,they looked set to post a score closer to 300 before they stalled towards the end of their innings, Sharma facing 52 balls for his runs and Ravi Jadeja making an unbeaten 25 in 27.
Kandamby returned figures of two for 37 and Malinga two for 57 as seven bowlers were used by the home team who will nevertheless have their work cut out chasing under lights.
Both sides have won the Asia Cup four times and Sri Lanka are bidding for their third consecutive title success and third successive final win over India.
© Cricket World 2010