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India go down to Sri Lanka, out of World Twenty20

By The Assam Tribune

GROS ISLET (St Lucia), May 12 (IANS): A last ball six from Chamara Kapugedera handed Sri Lanka a thrilling five wicket victory over India and gave them a good chance of qualifying to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20.

Sri Lanka chased down a winning target of 164 runs with Kapugedera (37 not out of 16 balls) hitting a six over cover boundary off the last ball of the last over from Ashish Nehra. Sri Lanka needed to score 13 runs from the last over and Angelo Mathews (46) began with six of the first ball but was run out in the fifth ball.

Sri Lanka now have a strong chance of making it to the last four but will have to wait for the result of the next match between Australia and West Indies.

India, who needed to restrict Sri Lanka to 143 runs to nurture any hopes of sneaking into the last four, thus finished their disappointing campaign losing all three matches of Super Eights.

India, winners of the inaugural edition in 2007, were comprehensively beaten by Australia and West Indies in the first two matches of Super Eights. The batsmen failed to cope with the bouncy track at Barbados and both teams exploited India's weakness against pace bowling.

A disheartened Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the team did not play to its potential.

"We did not perform to potential in the tournament. Batting is our strength and we could have done better. Our bowlers bowled with the same pace, they did not vary their pace," he said.

It was a must-win game for both the teams to stay in the hunt.

India after winning the toss began with a new opening pair of Dinesh Karthik (13), who replaced Murali Vijay, and Gautam Gambhir (41). Karthik was dismissed by Lasith Malinga with 30 runs on the board. Gambhir struck three fours before falling to Malinga.

Suresh Raina then smashed 63 runs off 47 balls with the help of seven fours and one six and skiper Dhoni added an unbeaten 23 to take India to 163 for five. Though India could not accelerate in the end.

Sri Lanka were jolted in the first over as Mahela Jayawardene was dismissed off the third ball of Ashish Nehra with Yusuf Pathan taking a fine catch at first slip.

The Island nation received another blow when Sanath Jayasuriya too departed in the next over. Vinay Kumar, who was making his debut bowled, got the prize wicket as Jayasuriya pulled a shot ball but ended up in the hands of Dinesh Karthik.

Tillakaratne Dilshan (33) and Kumar Sangakkara (46) began the repair job. Dilshan, who has not been in best of form in this tournament, took his time focussed on building a partnership. The duo added 43 runs before Dilshan after striking five fours was dismissed by Yusuf Pathan.

Mathews then played a whirlwind knock, hitting three fours and two sixes in his 33-balls 46. The Sri Lankan batsmen made sure that they cross the first target of 143 runs before going for the victory.

Kapugedera then played an aggressive knock smashing three sixes and two fours to take his team home.

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