As the Indian cricket team takes on Sri Lanka in a three-match ODI series at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo starting July 13, we take a look at three India-Sri Lanka ODI classics.
2011 World Cup final, Mumbai
The match that will be remembered for MS Dhoni’s title-winning six. Mahela Jayawardene’s unbeaten 103 set up a total of 274/6. Stunned silence followed at a packed, rebuilt Wankhede when Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar fell with just 31 on the board. Gautam Gambhir took up the mantle with 97, putting on 83 with Virat Kohli, and then 109 with Dhoni, who memorably promoted himself ahead of Yuvraj Singh. India still needed 52 after Gambhir’s exit; Dhoni finished the job in the 49th over with an unbeaten 91 for a six-wicket win to give India its second World Cup.
2013 Tri-nation series final, Port of Spain
This was classic Dhoni, stretching a seemingly lost cause into the very last over and then conjuring a miracle win all by himself. India were down to 167/8 and then 182/9 in pursuit of Sri Lanka’s 201 on a tricky pitch. The scores of the batters following Dhoni were to be 5, 0, 0, 5 and 2 not out. Fifteen was needed from the last over after Dhoni had kept refusing singles. Dhoni, injured and having returned only for the final, needed three powerful hits off Shaminda Eranga to seal yet another win out of nowhere for India.
2009 ODI series, 1st match, Rajkot
The famous 414 versus 411 game. Virender Sehwag hammered 146 off only 102 balls. Tendulkar (69) and Dhoni (72) were his solid partners as India raced to an incredible 414/7. Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was later to be Player of the Series, led a stunning Sri Lankan reply with 160 off 124. His opening partner Upul Tharanga made 67 and No. 3 Kumar Sangakkara kept up the pressure with 90 off just 43. At 316/1 in the 37th over, the match was in Sri Lanka’s grasp. However, a clutch of wickets fell and the visitors would end just short on 411/8.
Featured photo: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE /JEWEL SAMAD / AFP