India crash out of World T20 after losing to SL
Dinesh Karthik replaced Murali Vijay, but even he failed to give India a good start against Sri Lanka in the ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights match, in St Lucia, on Tuesday.
Karthik scored 13 before he was caught and bowled by pacer Lasith Malinga in his first over.
India were knocked out of the Twenty20 World Cup when a last-ball six from Sri Lanka's Chamara Kapugedera condemned them to their third straight defeat in the Super Eight stage.
Image: Dinesh Karthik
Indian batsmen struggle in final overs
India were going great guns initially; they were 90 for one in 10 overs, but could muster only 37 runs from the last five. The total proved insufficient in the end.
Suresh Raina top-scored for India with a 47-ball 63 and Gautam Gambhir contributed 41 after Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat.
After putting on 163 for five, India needed to not only win the crunch rubber, but by at least a 20-run margin to give themselves an outside chance of sneaking into the semi-finals. Sri Lanka though sneaked home in a thrilling finish.
Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Sri Lanka lose early wickets
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.
Image: Mahela Jayawardene
Sangakkara rallies SL after early setbacks
Tillkaratane Dilshan (33) though was unperturbed and smashed Nehra for three fours and extracted 13 runs from Harbhajan Singh's first over.
Dilshan looked like taking the match away from India, but Yusuf Pathan struck for his side, getting rid of the dangerous Lankan, having him caught at square leg by Yuvraj Singh.
India though hardly could breath easy as Sangakkara and Mathews batted with determination and brought their team back in the hunt.
Sangakkara hit Pathan for two sixes in the 14th over, picking 16 runs, to turn the heat on the Indians before Vinay Kumar struck again by removing the Lankan skipper for 46.
Image: Kumar Sangakkara
Mathews brings Lanka close
Fortunes were fluctuating, but Angelo Mathews and Chamara Kapugedera were not ready to throw in the towel.
Chamara Kapugedera hit Vinay for back-to-back sixes over long-on to take Sri Lanka past 150 in the 19th over, leaving 13 needed for victory from the final over.
Mathews hit the first delivery of the final over, from Nehra, for a huge six over the covers. But Nehra ensured a thrilling climax when he ran out Mathews, to leave the equation at three needed from the final delivery.
Image: Ashish Nehra runs out Angelo Mathews
Kapugedera's last ball six sinks India
Kapugedera (37 not out) took Sri Lanka, needing three for victory off the last ball of their innings, over the line with a mighty blow over the extra cover boundary.
He slammed a quickfire 37 not out from 16 balls, with the help of two boundaries and three sixes, to take Sri Lanka to 167 for five in their 20 overs in reply to India's 163 for five.
India's exit was an embarrassing blow for a cricketing nation which has enthusiastically adopted the Twenty20 format through their own Indian Premier League.
Image: Chamara Kapugedera celebrates