Skipper MS Dhoni returned to the team after a brief injury and powered the side to yet another thrilling victory. India defeated Sri Lanka by one wicket in a nail-biting final to win the Celkon Mobile Cup tri-series in the West Indies. Only last month, India had won the ICC Champions Trophy in England and became the No. 1 team in the ICC ODI rankings.
India won the toss and elected to bowl first on a difficult batting wicket. Sri Lanka lost both openers Tharanga and Jayawardene to pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. However, Sangakkara and Thirimanne, riding high on luck and some good batting, added 122 runs for the third wicket to consolidate the innings.
At one stage, Sri Lanka were going good at 171/2. However, Indian bowlers bounced back to wreak havoc and Lankans lost the last 8 wickets for just 30 runs. They bowled out for 201 in 48.5 overs. Sangakkara (71), Thirimanne (46) and Jayawardene (22) were the top contributors. For India, Jadeja took four wickets. Ishant, Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar took two wickets each. Vinay Kumar, who replaced Umesh Yadav in the side, conceded just 15 runs in 6 overs.
Chasing a victory target of 202, Indian batsmen found it tough to score runs and lost two quick wickets. India built up the innings and were cruising towards victory when they were 139/3 in the 32nd over. Rangana Herath struck hard to put India in deep trouble. He took four wickets. Dhoni held the fort, while other batsmen departed in regular intervals. India (Dhoni) needed 15 runs from the last over bowled by Eranga. Dhoni missed the first ball. But, hit the next one for a big six. The next ball was sent to the bounday. Dhoni hit the fourth ball for a six to seal the victory. India made 203/9 in 49.4 overs.
For India, Rohit Sharma was the top scorer with 58. Dinesh Karthik (23) and Suresh Raina (32) were the other contributors. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 45. For Sri Lanka, Herath took four, while Eranga took two wickets. India were 182 when the ninth wicket fell. However, Ishant Sharma provided good support to Dhoni, who scored the winning runs. Dhoni was declared ‘Man of the Match’. He yet again proved himself as a great finisher of the game under pressure. Bhuvneshwar Kumar won the ‘Man of the Series’ award. He got a Polaris Ranger RZR car. Dhoni showed much generosity by sharing the trophy with Virat Kohli, who captained the team in three matches in Dhoni’s absence.
Trusted Player of the Match: Rohit Sharma
Perfect Partnership of the Series: Mahela Jayawardene & Upul Tharanga
Most Flexible Player of the Series: Angelo Mathews
The Perfect Safe Hand: Darren Bravo
Trusted Player of the Series: Rohit Sharma
Hausala Buland Academy Award: Rangana Herath