Yuvraj leads India to a record win
India's batting line-up came up with a stunning display of strokeplay to achieve the highest successful run chase in Twenty20 history, as they defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in the second game and levelled the two-match series 1-1 in Mohali on Saturday.
After the visitors posted a competitive 206 for seven, the Indians rode on superlative batting from Virender Sehwag (64), M S Dhoni (46) and Yuvraj Singh (60 not out) to overhaul the target with five balls to spare in a thrilling floodlit contest.
India, in the process, surpassed the earlier highest run chase of 208 for 2, which South Africa made against the West Indies in Johannesburg in September 2007.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss, and elected to bat first on pitch that offered some assistance to the bolwers. The visitors were off to a bad start when, Ishant Sharma dismissed the dangerous Tillakaratne Dilshan (1) in his very first over.
Ishant produced a gem of a delivery to knock Dilshan's leg stump out, with just one-run on the board.
Image: Ishant Sharma dismisses Tillekaratne Dilshan
Jayasuriya, Sangakkara steady Lankan innings
After the early jolt, Sanath Jayasuriya (31) and Kumar Sangakkara (59) steadied the ship with a brilliant counter-attack, smashing the Indian bowlers to all corners of the park.
Jayasuriya was particularly severe on Ashish Nehra as he clobbered him for three fours and a six in his second over. Nehra was never allowed to settle into any rhythm as both the Lankan batsmen attacked him from the very beginning.
The duo brought about the 50-run partnership in just 21 balls and the introduction of the slower balls hardly had any impact on the scoring rate.
Sri Lanka's cause was helped by some poor fielding from the Indians, who continued to spill catches much to the embarrassment of new fielding consultant Mike Young.
Jayasuriya was eventually dismissed by Yusuf Pathan.
Image: Sanath Jayasuriya
Sangakkara took over from Jayasuriya and continued with his brilliant form, smashing a brilliant 59 off 31-balls, which included eight boundaries and two sixes.
Sangakkara got a reprieve on 28, when Ravindra Jadeja dropped him on the boundary off Yusuf Pathan. The Lankans were also helped by some indicipline by the Indian bowlers who gave away as many as 24 extras.
The Sri Lankan skipper completed his second half century of the series, but could not survive long. He went for a lofted shot only to be caught by Nehra off Yuvraj.
Image: Kumar Sangakkar hits a six
India off to a blistering start
Chasing a stiff challenge of 207 for victory to level the series, openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir gave India a rollicking start.
Sehwag began by smashing the ball right from the first over of the innings. Pacer Weeraratne was at the receiving end as the right-hander hit a huge six over extra cover in his first over.
The Sri Lankan fielders too seemed to be following in the footsteps of their Indian counterparts, also missing early opportunities to run-out both Sehwag and his opening partner Gambhir (21).
Sehwag was fortunate to get a reprieve when Jayasuriya, running in from long-on, failed to latch on to a mis-hit from the batsman. The duo put up a 50-run partnership for the opening wicket, off just 31 balls.
However, Gambhir was soon dismissed by a throw from Malinga that caught the batsman short of his ground.
Sehwag, in his bid to accelerate, gave a simple catch to Kaushalya Weeraratne at long-on off Lasith Malinga.
Image: Virender Sehwag plays one through the covers
Yuvraj steals the show
With the run-rate steadily rising, in came birthday boy Yuvraj Singh. The southpaw soon found his rhythm, taking 19 runs in the 13th over, bowled by Weeraratne.
Yuvraj began in his usual style, smashing the second ball he faced to the extra cover fence. He followed it with a massive six towards long-off, and three balls later heaved the ball over the ground for yet another maximum.
The 50-run partnership for the third wicket between skipper Dhoni and Yuvraj came in just 23 balls.
By the end of 15 overs, India was 159 for two, still needing 48 runs from the remaining five overs. But Yuvraj soon changed the equation in the 16th over.
Image: Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj sees India home
Yuvraj notched his fifth Twenty20 half century, which contained as many as five sixes and three fours. He brought up the winning runs with a six.
Meanwhile Dhoni, having registered his highest score in T20 internationals (46), was cleaned up by a superb yorker from Dilhara Fernando.
Suresh Raina (9) also was dismissed cheap. But, by then, it was a lost cause for Sri Lanka.
Yuvraj was declared man-of-the-match for his all-round display. He picked three Sri Lanka wickets and hit a match-winning 60 not out.
Image: Yuvraj Singh celebrates with Dinesh Karthik