BRISBANE, Feb 21 (PTI): India�s cricket tri-series campaign was thrown into disarray as they slipped to the bottom of the points table, losing to a rejuvenated Sri Lanka by 51 runs in another one-sided encounter here today.
Chasing Sri Lanka�s imposing 289 for six, Indians suffered another top-order collapse and folded up for 238 in 45.1 overs to give the islanders their second successive victory.
The target of 290 was too stiff for the Indians under lights despite a good 96-run fourth wicket stand between Virat Kohli (66) and Suresh Raina (32) and a late counter-attack by Irfan Pathan who made 47 off 34 balls with seven boundaries.
Sri Lankans were well served by Nuwan Kulasekara first up who claimed 3 for 40, including the scalps of Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir, and Thisara Perera who took 4 for 37.
Kulasekara�s effort earned him the man-of-the-match award.
Sri Lanka now forge ahead of Indians on the points table though the latter were able to cross 231 and avoided conceding a bonus point. Lankans now have 11 points from five matches while Indians have 10 from six games. Australia have 14 points from five games.
India�s chase couldn�t have begun on a worse note as stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag slashed at a wide delivery from Lasith Malinga and the catch ballooned up for third man fielder to complete the job.
Sachin Tendulkar (22) kept everyone interested during his brief stay. He once punched Lasith Malinga through covers and then flicked him through mid-wicket, both of whom were shots of highest pedigree. But then he tried to leave a Kulasekara delivery and succeeded only in dragging the ball on to his stumps.
The hole only grew deeper when Gautam Gambhir (29) walked out to Kulasekara and tried to dab him at the last minute past slips. It went rather uppishly and Perera at gully smartly held the chance.
India were reduced to 54 for 3 in the 12th over and fighting for breath.
Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina then conjured a partnership, both having benefited from dropped chances. Raina, on 5, steered at throat of backward point and Kohli�s pull-shot when on 14 popped out of Dinesh Chandimal�s hands at widish long on.
Kohli was again put down on 34 at midwicket by Chandimal off Lasith Malinga at the total 116 for 3 in the 25th over.
The two young batsmen benefited from these reprieves and stabilized the innings, with singles although boundaries seemed hard coming by.
Kohli reached his half century off 66 balls but in the 31st over as India suffered the loss of Raina (32) who spooned up a tame catch off Ferveez Maharoof to short covers.
Raina made 32 off 55 balls with one four. The duo together put on 92 runs for the fourth wicket off 116 deliveries.
The pace was too hectic and it told on Kohli who perished in the 36th over, lofting Perera to mid-on. He made 66 off 83 balls with two fours.
India lost another wicket before the batting Powerplay was out when Ravindra Jadeja (17) dragged Kulasekara on to his stumps. India were 191 for 6 in the 38th over.
Parthiv Patel (4) fell cheaply and Ravichandran Ashwin (5) also didn�t last long to leave India 232 for eight after 43 overs.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene c Sehwag b Irfan 45, Tillakaratne Dilshan c Patel b Ashwin 51, Kumar Sangakkara c Tendulkar b Yadav 8, Dinesh Chandimal b Pathan 38, Lahiru Thirumanne c Raina b Ashwin 62, Angelo Matthews not out 49, Thisara Perera b Raina 10, Fervez Maharoof not out 4. Extras: (B-1, LB-2, W-18, NB-1) 22. Total: (for 6 wkts, 50 overs) 289. Fall of wickets: 1-95, 2-104, 3-124, 4-195, 5-244, 6-265. Bowling: Vinay Kumar 8-1-48-1, Irfan Pathan 10-0-54-2, Umesh Yadav 8-0-58-1, Ravindra Jadeja 10-0-43-0, Ravichandran Ashwin 10-0-50-2, Virender Sehwag 2-0-9-0, Suresh Raina 1-0-10-1, Virat Kohli 1-0-14-0.
India: Sehwag c Kulasekara b Malinga 0, Tendulkar b Kulasekara 22, Gambhir c Perera b Kulasekara 29, Kohli c Kulasekara b Perera 66, Raina c Thirimanne b Maharoof 32, Jadeja b Kulasekara 17, Irfan c & b Perera 47, Parthiv c Malinga b Perera 4, Ashwin c Sangakkara b Malinga 5, Kumar c sub (SMSM Senanayake) b Perera 0, Yadav not out 0. Extras: (LB-7, W-9) 16. Total: 238 all out in 45.1 overs. Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-38, 3-54, 4-146, 5-172, 6-191, 7-215, 8-232, 9-233. Bowling: Lasith Malinga 8-0-55-2, Nuwan Kulasekara 9-0-40-3, Farveez Maharoof 10-1-52-1, Angelo Mathews 4-0-12-0, Thisara Perera 7.1-0-37-4, Rangana Herath 7-0-35-0.