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Who would have predicted that: Ajantha Mendis 6/13 catches Indian batsmen clueless as Sri Lanka lift 4th Asia Cup

Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis - that would be 6fer
©Reuters

In our feature series - Who would have predicted that? – we are looking back at matches where there were big upsets or extraordinary individual performances that turned matches on their head.

Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene was clever enough to not play mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis in the group match against India. When the Men in Blue faced him in the final of the Asia Cup, so clueless were they that the spinner bagged his best ODI figures of 6/13.

 

Match Summary

Sri Lanka 273 (49.5 overs) - Sanath Jayasuriya 125 (114), Tillakaratne Dilshan 56 (74); Ishant Sharma 3/52 (10), RP Singh 3/67 (9)

India 173 (39.3 overs) - Virender Sehwag 60 (36), MS Dhoni 49 (74); Ajantha Mendis 6/13 (8), Chaminda Vaas 2/55 (9)

Result - Sri Lanka won by 100 runs

 

India had never won a final against Sri Lanka since 1998 and had lost 17 of their 24 finals since 1999 when they faced Sri Lanka in the final of the 2008 Asia Cup. The record only went southwards.

First, it was veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya who smoked 125 off 114 balls - the highest score in an Asia Cup final. The knock came in his 25th appearance in the tournament - the most by any player.

After Sri Lanka were struggling at 66/4, Jayasuriya added 131 with Tillakaratne Dilshan, the second best for the fifth wicket in the Asia Cup at that time, and ensured that the Lankan bowlers had enough to test India.

Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Kumar Sangakkara, 1.4 ov), 2-34 (Mahela Jayawardene, 7.2 ov), 3-66 (Chamara Kapugedera, 11.4 ov), 4-66 (Chamara Silva, 11.6 ov), 5-197 (Sanath Jayasuriya, 35.3 ov), 6-213 (Tillakaratne Dilshan, 38.5 ov), 7-236 (Chaminda Vaas, 44.5 ov), 8-256 (Thilan Thushara, 48.1 ov), 9-264 (Ajantha Mendis, 48.5 ov), 10-273 (Muttiah Muralitharan, 49.5 ov)

 

The way Virender Sehwag started for India with the team on 76-1 after nine overs, the match seemed to be heading towards an early finish. Sehwag's 60 came at a strike rate of 166.66, but another storm hit Karachi soon. 

Ajantha Mendis with his off breaks, top spinners, carrom balls, googlies and the ones that came straight off the surface made a mockery of the Indian batting line up, running through the side in a jiffy.

Only MS Dhoni (49) could offer some resistance and he too conceded in the post match presentation that he was not picking the spinner. As a result, India were bowled out for just 173 and Sri Lanka won the game, and the Asia Cup trophy, by 100 runs.

Fall of wickets: 1-36 (Gautam Gambhir, 4.6 ov), 2-76 (Virender Sehwag, 9.2 ov), 3-76 (Yuvraj Singh, 9.4 ov), 4-93 (Suresh Raina, 13.3 ov), 5-97 (Rohit Sharma, 15.2 ov), 6-135 (Robin Uthappa, 26.6 ov), 7-154 (Irfan Pathan, 31.3 ov), 8-154 (RP Singh, 31.4 ov), 9-160 (MS Dhoni, 34.2 ov), 10-173 (Ishant Sharma, 39.3 ov)

 

Teams

 

India - Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Rohit Sharma, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma 

 

Sri Lanka - Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene (c), Chamara Kapugedera, Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thilan Thushara, Ajantha Mendis, Muttiah Muralitharan

 

Match Details

 

Match: IND v SL, Asia Cup Final, 2008

Date: Sunday, July 06, 2008 

Toss: India won the toss and decided to field

Venue: National Stadium, Karachi 

Umpires: Tony Hill, Simon Taufel 

Third Umpire: Zameer Haider 

Match Referee: Alan Hurst 

 

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