India overcame a brilliant century by Tillakaratne Dilshan to defeat Sri Lanka by three runs in a dramatic start to their five-match one-day series yesterday.
Dilshan made 160 off 124 balls as the tourists made a spirited effort to surpass India’s highest one-day total of 414-7, before falling agonizingly short in a high-scoring thriller.
Sri Lanka were on their way to recording the second highest run chase in one-day history when they began the penultimate over needing 15 to win off the last 12 balls with five wickets in hand.
But pace spearhead Zaheer Khan conceded just four runs and seamer Ashish Nehra gave away seven runs in the final over to seal India’s win.
Three wickets fell in the last two overs, including that of Thilina Kandamby (24) and Angelo Mathews (38), as Sri Lanka were restricted to 411-8.
The biggest chase in one-day history was by South Africa, who made 438-9 to defeat Australia in Johannesburg in 2006.
Earlier, Virender Sehwag smashed 146 off 102 balls as India surpassed their previous one-day record of 413-5 against Bermuda in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean.
Sri Lanka made a spectacular chase of the daunting target as Dilshan and Upul Tharanga (67) hammered 188 for the first wicket in 24 overs.
Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara propelled Sri Lanka further with a blistering 90 off 43 balls that contained 10 fours and five sixes.
Sangakkara and Dilshan added 128 for the second wicket from just 75 balls to lift the tourists to a comfortable 316-1 by the 37th over, when India hit back with four wickets in the space of 29 runs.
But Kandamby and Mathews put on 56 for the sixth wicket to keep the tourists’ hopes alive.
“It is actually worse when you come this close and lose, rather than lose easily,” Sangakkara said. “Most of the time you can roll over and die chasing over 400, but we almost made it.”
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