Sri Lanka outclassed India by six wickets in a thrilling finish to knock them out of the ICC World Twenty20, in St Lucia, on Tuesday.
Chamara Kapugedera hit the final ball of the match, from Ashish Nehra, for a six to take Sri Lanka to 167 for five in their 20 overs in reply to India's 163 for five in the Super Eights match.
Kapugedera played the role of finisher to perfection, slamming a quickfire 37 not out from 16 balls, with the help of two boundaries and three sixes.
Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews hit 46 each to bring Sri Lanka back in the contest after the loss of a few early wickets.
Sri Lanka are virtually assured of a place in the semi-finals unless the West Indies beat Australia by a huge margin.
It turned out to be another disappointing outing by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys, as they lost all their three matches in the Super Eights stage.
After winning the inaugural edition of the World Twenty20 in 2007, India failed to make it to the semi-finals in the next two editions.
Earlier, Suresh Raina stroked a brisk 63 before Sri Lanka's bowlers led a fightback to restrict India.
India lost their way in the final overs, as just 37 runs came from the last five for the loss of three wickets, while Sri Lanka slammed 60 for the loss of one wicket in their last five overs.
Raina, who hit seven boundaries and a six in his 47-ball knock, added 66 runs in 41 balls for the second wicket with Gautam Gambhir (41 from 32 balls). But the rest of the batsmen failed to lift the tempo and boundaries become a rarity in the second half of the innings.India:
Dinesh Karthik, who replaced Murali Vijay, started the innings in style, hitting Angelo Mathews through point for a boundary.
Gautam Gambhir (5) got an early reprieve when wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara dropped a tough chance, standing up to pacer Mathews, in the third over.
It was Lasith Malinga who provided Sri Lanka the breakthrough, when he caught and bowled Karthik for 13 in his first over.
Suresh Raina seemed in a positive mood from the outset. He slammed Thilan Thushara for three boundaries to take India past the 50-run mark in the sixth over.
Mathews also suffered in the next over as Raina and Gambhir hit him for a boundary each through the fine leg region.
Raina swept off-spinner Suraj Randiv just past the fielder at short fine leg for a boundary to take the total to 90 for one after ten overs.
Just when the Indian pair was looking to build a partnership, Malinga came back and claimed another wicket. Gambhir, who had scored 41 from 32 balls, tried to guide one towards third man but edged behind and was caught behind by Sangakkara.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni also made his intent clear when he charged down the wicket and slammed Sanath Jayasuriya down the ground for a six. Raina repeated the feat in the next over, slog sweeping Randiv over midwicket for another maximum.
Captain Sangakkara did India another huge favour when he missed an easy stumping chance. Raina, on 47, charged down the wicket to Randiv but missed the ball completely, and so did Sangakkara as India reached 119 for two after 14 overs.
Raina completed a well-deserved half-century off just 37 balls with a single on the off-side against Thushara, in the 15th over.
The innings seemed to slow down after the good partnership from Gambhir and Raina. Just 49 runs came from seven overs as India reached 139 for two after 17 overs.
Thushara pegged them back further with two wickets in his final over and both came off full toss deliveries.
Raina tried to lift the tempo as he hit Thushara over midwicket for a boundary, but fell off the very next delivery. The left-hander got a leading edge as he tried to slam a full toss and was caught at deep midwicket after a good innings of 63 from 47 balls, inclusive of seven boundaries and a six.
Yuvraj Singh's poor tournament continued. He flicked a full toss straight to the fielder at deep square leg and was put after scoring 1.
Yusuf Pathan failed to get going in the final overs and was caught off the final delivery of the innings for 13 to give Thissara Perera his first wicket.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni also struggled for 23 not out from 19 balls as India finished on 163 for five in their 20 overs.
Sri Lanka's bowlers brought them back in the final few overs as India scored 37 from the last five overs, while losing three wickets in the process.
India were comfortably placed at 90 for one at the halfway stage, but thereafter lost their way. Just four boundaries were hit in the last ten overs as Sri Lanka's bowlers kept it tight and never allowed the batsmen any width to free their arms.
India have their task cut out as they need to restrict Sri Lanka to 142 or below to keep their hopes alive in the tournament.
Malinga was Sri Lanka's star bowler, claiming two for 25 in four overs, while Thushara took two for 41.
Ashish Nehra gave India the perfect start when he had the in-form Mahela Jayawardene caught at first slip for four in the first over of the innings.
Debutant Vinay Kumar also got off to a splendid start in international cricket, scalping veteran Sanath Jayasuriya. The left-hander pulled a short delivery straight to Dinesh Karthik, at midwicket, and was dismissed for a duck as Sri Lanka were left tottering at six for two after two overs.
Tillakaratne Dilshan counter-attacked as he slammed Nehra for three boundaries in the third over and followed it up by another couple boundaries off Harbhajan Singh in the next over.
Just when Dilshan looked set for a big knock, Pathan provided the vital breakthrough. Dilshan scored 33 from 26 balls before he swept one straight to Yuvraj on the square leg fence.
The Indian spinners looked to dry up the runs after that wicket, as Sri Lanka were restricted to 58 for three at the halfway stage, needing 106 from the last ten overs.
But it was not long before Sri Lanka decided to cut loose. Angelo Mathews broke the shackles by hitting Chawla over midwicket for a six and Sangakkara repeated the shot for the same result in the next over.
Sangakkara ensured his team maintained the momentum as he slammed Pathan for two sixes through the leg side to take the total to 100 for three in 14 overs.
Vinay brought his team back with the wicket of Sangakkara, who was foxed by a slower delivery and bowled after a brisk 46 from 33 balls.
Sri Lanka reached 107 for four after 15 overs, needing 57 from the last five. Importantly for India, they had to stop Sri Lanka within 143, which meant if Sri Lanka had to score just 37 from the last five overs to knock out their opponents.
But there was no stopping the islanders, as they cut loose after going past the 143-run mark. Kapugedera hit Vinay for back-to-back sixes over long-on to take Sri Lanka past 150 in the 19th over and knock India out of the tournament.
Sri Lanka inched their way back in the contest as 39 runs came from the last three overs -- amassing 151 for four after 19 overs, and 13 needed from the final over.
Mathews brought his team closer to victory when he slammed the first ball of the final over for a six over the cover region.
But Nehra ensured a thrilling climax when he ran out Mathews to leave the equation at three needed from the final delivery.
Mathews had brought his team to the brink of victory with a quick knock of 46 from 37 balls, having hit three fours and two sixes.
Kapugedera ended the match in style, hitting the final delivery for a six over cover.
The right-hander kept his composure in a pressure situation to finish unbeaten with a quickfire 37 from 16 balls and take Sri Lanka to 167 for five in their 20 overs.
Sri Lanka won the match by five wickets to move closer to a place in the semi-finals and also knock the Indians out of the World Twenty20.
The telling difference between the two teams was the last five overs. Despite having wickets in hand, India garnered only 37 from the last five overs and also lost three wickets in the process, while Sri Lanka smashed 60 runs for the loss of just one wicket.
Debutant Vinay emerged India's best bowler, claiming two for 30 in four overs, but the rest failed to live up to expectations. Harbhajan went for 35 in his four overs, while Nehra gave away 44 in his four.