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Asia Cup Throwback: When India took revenge against Sri Lanka

India vs Sri Lanka, Asia Cup 2010 Final: When a stumbling Indian side managed to snatch the trophy from Sri Lanka.

Asia Cup 2010 Final_ India beat Sri Lanka by 81 runs_ Dinesh Karthik scored fifity _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©Twitter)
India beat Sri Lanka by 81 runs in 2010 Asai Cup final (Images: ©Twitter)

Brief Score: India 268 for 6 (Karthik 66) beat Sri Lanka 187 (Kapugedera 55*, Nehra 4-40) by 81 runs


India and Sri Lanka’s ODI rivalry has always been under appreciated, considering how fiercely contested the matches are. A simple look at the past records, especially at the turn of the last decade, show how closely contested the clashes have always been.


The two powerhouses of Asia have faced each other 165 times in total, and India have the upper hand with 96 wins. Specifically in Asia Cup ODI encounters though, SL have won 10 times, while India emerged victorious in 9 matches.


In the lead up to Asia Cup, India and Sri Lanka have appeared in several tournament finals (precisely 2 tri-series and an Asia Cup 2008 final) against each other. In these, the teams have won one final each in the tri-series, while SL won the Asia Cup final in 2008.


India got the opportunity to avenge the defeat when the sides once again took on each other in the Asia Cup final in 2010 at Dambulla. India managed redemption in the most convincing fashion, winning by a margin of 81 runs to reclaim the Asia Cup for a record 5th time.

How did the match go?

Though billed as a repeat of the 2008 Asia Cup final, India had to overcome a few wounds in the lead up to the final. The Men in Blue had brushed aside Bangladesh and also won a close game over Pakistan in the group stages, before stumbling upon Sri Lanka in their final group stage game. The Sri Lanka bowler Ferveez Maharoof (5/42) demolished the Indian batting line-up in the group stage game enabling the Lions to top the table.


Though the loss didn’t hamper India’s progress to the final, the team must have faced severe criticism and handled enormous pressure.


India batted first in the big match

Despite a loss in the previous outing, India opted to bat first once again. This meant that the makeshift opening pair of Dinesh Karthik (in the absence of Virender Sehwag) and Gautam Gambhir had the task of giving India a good start.


They duo put up 38 runs on the scoreboard before Gambhir’s departure owing to an unfortunate run-out.



India’s innings

Karthik, who was joined by Virat Kohli, built the innings by adding 62 runs for the 2nd wicket, but things slowed down in the middle-overs following the departure of Dinesh Karthik after scoring 66. Muthiah Muralitharan didn’t pick a wicket but kept India’s scoring rate in check, conceding only 34 runs off his 10 overs.


The Indian middle-order and lower middle-order - comprising of MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja also played useful knocks on a slow surface to propel India’s total to 268/6 in their quota of overs.


Sri Lanka batters on the crease

Sri Lanka’s response to the target was lackluster from the very start. The Lankans lost their opener Tilakaratne Dilshan in the first over to Praveen Kumar and things went haywire from there onwards. The hosts seemed to be bamboozled as Indian pacers ran through their top-order.


Half of the Sri Lankan players were back in the pavilion in just 16 overs with just 51 runs on the board. Chamara Kapugedara tried to wage a lonely battle for his team, scoring 55, but that didn’t stop India from annihilating the Lankan side and pacing towards the trophy. The India bowlers wrapped up the Lankan innings for just 187 runs, with Jadeja and Zaheer Khan picking 2 wickets each, while Nehra emerged as the star performer with 4 scalps.



Top performers from India vs Sri Lanka Asia Cup 2010


Ashish Nehra bowls an inspiring opening spell

Coming as the first change bowler, Nehra continued the good work done by the new ball pair of Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan - who had taken the wickets of Dilshan and Upul Tharanga, respectively. The left-arm pacer not only kept things tight but also picked the wickets of 3 of Sri Lanka’s premier batsmen at the time, namely skipper Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews.


He then accounted for Lasith Malinga in the latter phase of the game to finish with 4/40, the 3rd best figures by an Indian against Sri Lanka in Asia Cup.


Kohli and Karthik shine with the bat

After losing Gambhir in the 7th over, Kohli had joined forces with Karthik and both seemed to have learnt in a big way from the last game where the Indian innings had collapsed after a couple of wickets fell.


The duo ensured that India’s progress wasn’t hampered in any way by adding 62 runs between them in the next 12 overs. Kohli’s departure didn’t prove to be a distraction either for Karthik, who had another valuable 46-run stand with skipper MS Dhoni to solidify India’s position. The reserve keeper-batsman was dismissed for a well compiled 66 runs and earned the player of the match award for his efforts on a tricky batting surface.



Ravindra Jadeja proved his worth as an all-rounder

The current rockstar of Indian cricket, Ravindra Jadeja was in the early phase of his career at that time and this was one of the games where he shined in all the departments.


First he made a useful contribution with the bat, building on the good efforts put in by MS Dhoni (38) and Rohit Sharma (41), by adding 32 runs with the latter for the 6th wicket followed by adding 19 runs in his stand with Harbhajan Singh towards the end. He remained unbeaten on 25 as India managed to put up 268/6 in 50 overs.


As a left-arm spinner, Jadeja proved his worth in the middle-overs by keeping things tight and taking 2 wickets to play a crucial role in India’s dominating 81-run win.


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