Harbhajan Spins India To Cup Victory In Colombo

ODI Century Number 44 For Brilliant Tendulkar
ODI Century Number 44 For Brilliant Tendulkar
©REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (SRI LANKA SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

India 319-5 (Tendulkar 138) beat
Sri Lanka 273 (Kandamby 66, H Singh 5-56) by 46 runs

Compaq Cup Final, Colombo

Harbhajan Singh picked up five wickets to bowl India to victory in the Compaq Cup after Sachin Tendulkar's 44th One-Day International century set Sri Lanka 320 to win.

Despite a blazing start which saw Tillakaratne Dilshan hit 42 in 29 balls and a half-century from Thilina Kandamby, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 273 in reply to India's 319 for five, Harbhajan returning five for 56.

Tendulkar stroked ten fours and a six in his 138 in 133 balls, putting on 95 for the first wicket with Rahul Dravid (39), the pair becoming the most experienced ODI opening partnership in terms of matches played.

Tendulkar was backed up by 56 in 62 balls from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, with whom he added 110 for the second wicket and then an unbeaten 56 in just 41 balls from Yuvraj Singh.

Yuvraj thumped six fours and a six to ensure that despite the late dismissals of Suresh Raina (8) and Yusuf Pathan (0), India set Sri Lanka a bigger target than has ever been chased at the RPS.

Dilshan smacked nine fours, most of them behind square and Sanath Jayasuriya made 36 in 29 balls as Sri Lanka kept up with the required run rate before wickets hurt them, the early turn to spin changing the game.

Harbhajan struck first, inside the Power Play overs, to bowl Dilshan and have Mahela Jayawardene (1) caught and bowled and he returned at the death to bowl Kandamby, who had made a chancy but classy 66, and have Lasith Malinga caught and bowled for a golden duck.

In between, Kumar Sangakkara was bizarrely dismissed when having made 33, he attempted to drive an RP Singh full toss down the ground but lost his grip on his bat, sending it over his head and crashing into the stumps.

Kandamby and Chamara Kapugedera (35) put on 70 for the seventh wicket to haul their side back into contention but when Kapugedera edged Raina to Dhoni, India, despite turning in a poor fielding display, were back on top and when Dhoni turned to Harbhajan again, the off-spinner delivered to leave Sri Lanka reeling.

Fittingly, he then ended the game when Ajantha Mendis (7) was stumped by a distance by Dhoni.

© Cricket World 2009