India Facing Elimination
India saw their hopes of World Cup glory all but evaporate in Trinidad following a 69-run defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka.
India saw their hopes of World Cup glory all but end in Trinidad with a 69-run defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka.
Replying to Sri Lanka's 254 for six in their Group B match in Port of Spain, Rahul Dravid's side crumbled from 98 for three to 185 all out.
Only Dravid with 60 and Virender Sehwag with 48 put up any resistance as Muttiah Muralitharan claimed three for 41.
India must now rely on Bermuda to defeat Bangladesh on Sunday or they will be eliminated.
They lost three wickets for just 44 runs by the 12th over before Sehwag and Dravid put on 54 for the fourth wicket.
But Sehwag's dismissal in the 23rd over, caught by Mahela Jayawardene at slip off Muralitharan, turned the match in Sri Lanka's favour.
India's problems started in the seventh over when they lost Robin Uthappa (18), caught and bowled by Chaminda Vaas with the score on 25.
Vaas struck again in the 11th over when Muralitharan held onto a spectacular catch, running back at mid-off to get rid of Sourav Ganguly (seven) with the score on 41.
And four balls and one run later, Dilhara Fernando got the prize wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, bowled for a duck.
Dravid and Yuvraj Singh (three) were trying to rebuild the innings after 25 overs.
Earlier Upul Tharanga (64) and Chamara Silva (59) both hit half-centuries for Sri Lanka.
Silva and Tillekeratne Dilshan (38) added 80 for the fifth wicket off 83 balls after the 1996 champions lost their first four wickets for 133 by the 33rd over.
Sri Lanka lost Sanath Jayasuriya (six), skipper Jayawardene (seven) and Kumar Sangakkara (15) for 92 runs at the midway stage of their innings.
Jayasuriya faced 23 balls before he sliced the last ball of the seventh over from Zaheer Khan down to third man where Ajit Agarkar took the catch.
Jayawardene was out to a fine catch by wicketkeeper Mahendra Dhoni as he tried to flick Agarkar down the leg side to leave his team 54 for two after 12.4 overs.
Sri Lanka then lost Sangakkara when he tried to hit the medium pace of Ganguly back overhead only to see Munaf Patel run around on the long-on boundary to take a good catch. The score was then 88 in the 24th over.
Tharanga, who opened the innings, and Silva added 41 for the fourth wicket before Tendulkar trapped the opener lbw. He struck six fours and faced 90 balls.
Silva, who was scoring his third consecutive half century in this year's tournament, and Dilshan then started cautiously before lifting the scoring rate with some bold hitting, before both fell at 216.
Dilshan drove at Patel in the 46th over and was caught at the wicket after hitting three fours in his 41-ball innings and without addition, Silva's 68-ball innings ended when Dhoni took his third catch of the innings off Zaheer's bowling.
With 22 balls left, Vaas and Russel Arnold gave the innings a boost by lashing 38 runs, including five fours and a six in an unbroken partnership for the seventh wicket.
Both were unbeaten on 19 with Vaas hitting two fours and a six from the 12 balls he faced while Arnold had three fours from his 13 balls.
Zaheer took two for 49 while there was one wicket each for Tendulkar, Patel, Agarkar and Ganguly.
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