Dhoni blasts India to tense victory

India

India were on the brink of defeat in the tri-series final against Sri Lanka in Trinidad on Thursday, but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni blasted 16 runs in the final over to give his side the win with one wicket and two balls to spare.

India were on the brink of defeat in the tri-series final against Sri Lanka in Trinidad on Thursday, but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni blasted 16 runs in the final over to give his side the win with one wicket and two balls to spare.

Sri Lanka scored 201 in their innings, with Kumar Sangakkara's 71 the highlight as Ravindra Jadeja took four wickets. It seemed to be an easy target, but India made a hash of it until Dhoni's cool temperament saved the day and they reached 203 for nine.

India won the toss and chose to bowl first in Mahela Jayawardene's 400th ODI. The former Sri Lanka skipper was unable to impress upon his milestone, making just 22 before falling to Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The young fast bowler also dismissed Upul Tharanga, before Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne set about rescuing the knock. The pair put on 122 together, pushing the score from 49 for two to 171 for three.

Sangakkara showed his class by making a nifty 71, while Thirimanne made 46. The latter was out first, limping slightly, when he skied an Ishant Sharma delivery for Kumar to catch. Sanga was out three runs later, having faced 100 balls.

From there, the wickets tumbled. Only Angelo Mathews reached double figures and that was only 10, as Jadeja ripped through the lower order. Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath and Suranga Lakmal all bowed to the moustached spinner.

India's innings was not the stuff of fairytales, as Shaminda Eranga removed Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli cheaply, putting them on 27 for two. Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik then added 50 to steady the knock.

Karthik fell for 23 and was the first of Herath's four wickets. The spinner did the same job Jadeja had done earlier in the day, and his efforts looked to have done the trick right until the final over.

Suresh Raina came in to join Rohit and they pushed the score to 139 before Rohit fell. He was clean bowled by Herath off his 89th delivery faces, and a flurry of wickets followed.

Lakmal claimed Raina's wicket for 31, before Herath sent Jadeja and Ashwin packing. Malinga then trapped Kumar in front and the cat was truly amongst the pigeons. Ishant had to bat out the final overs with his skipper.

The pair needed 20 runs when they got together in the 47th over, and Dhoni took his sweet time getting them. They needed 15 of those runs off the final over, and Dhoni smashed them via two sixes and a four off Eranga.

Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga, Shaminda Eranga, Suranga Lakmal

India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar

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