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14-Sep-2009 17:22:00 GMT
Sri lanka v India, Compaq Cup Final, Colombo

Sachin Ton and Bhajji Fever Helps India Win Compaq Cup 2009

Colombo: Harbhajan Singh claimed five crucial wickets to help India beat Sri Lanka by 46 runs to win the tri-series final at Colombo.

India have won the closely fought final by 46 runs and with it captured the tri series. It was always going to be difficult to chase down 320 but Sri Lanka fought hard and kept the hopes alive.

There were few anxious moments int the game but the match slipped away from Lanka's grip with regular fall of wickets. Kandamy played a courageous knock of 66 off 94 but was done in by Harbhajan Singh. The Turbanator claimed 5 wickets and emerged as chief destroyer.

India still have some lessons to learn as their fielding standards continue to drop. It is a major worry and India will have to improve drastically in this department.

Sachin Tendulkar declared man of the match. He pickup 59th Man of the match. Sachin Tendulkar also declared player of the tournament. His 14th Man of the series.

Sachin Tendulkar make up the 44th century of his ODI career and Harbhajan Singh followed that up with a five-for of trophy-clinching proportions as India walked off with the Compaq Cup spoils in Colombo on Monday.

A magnificent century from Sachin Tendulkar and strong batting performances from the top-order helped India set Sri Lanka a daunting target in the final of the triangular one-day series for the Compaq Cup in Colombo.

Tendulkar, opening the batting alongside Rahul Dravid (39), clobbered 138 and put on 85 for the opening wicket, ensuring a solid start for the visitors.

The master batsman, who called for a runner after he reached his century, then cobbled solid partnerships with Mahendra Singh Dhoni (56) and later Yuvraj Singh (56 not out) as India did better than Sri Lanka's effort in a dead rubber two nights ago, finishing with 319 for five.

Chasing a mammoth 320-run target, Sri Lanka got the perfect start from Tillakaratne Dilshan (42 off 29 balls) and Sanath Jayasuriya (36) before running out of steam. Down the order, the 70-run stand between Thilina Kandamby (66) Chamara Kapugedera (35) was a mere act of defiance and not enough to turn the match on its head.

Harbhajan Singh (5-56) was the wrecker-in-chief even though he missed a hat-trick chance.

Earlier, 36-year-old Tendulkar seemed to be in imperious form as he notched up his 44th ODI century with a stunning display of strokeplay.

With Dinesh Karthik failing in both the matches, India opted for a new opening pair of Tendulkar and Dravid for the summit showdown and the experienced duo clicked together.

The two experienced batsmen found runs easy to come by as they took the total to 50 by the end of the 10th over and sought to accelerate the pace of scoring from then on.

Dravid got a reprieve when he was on 24 with Tillakaratne Dilshan dropping a fairly simple catch at gully, Thushara being the unlucky bowler.

Sangakkara introduced Lasith Malinga in the 13th over and Tendulkar greeted him with a glorious backfoot punch to the fence.

Dravid then lifted spinner Ajantha Mendis for a six but the wily Sanath Jayasuriya removed him in the next over. Dhoni promoted himself to the number three slot and got into the act almost immediately with a flurry of strokes.

He and Tendulkar kept up the pace of scoring without taking too many risks as they brought about the 100-run partnership to pile up the agony on the hosts.

Tendulkar took a single by cutting Mendis to the sweeper cover to notch up his 44th ODI century.

The hosts finally broke the partnership when Dhoni mistimed his pull shot and Kandamby took a well-judged catch.

A tired Tendulkar, who called in a runner after suffering from cramps, was dismissed at the fag end of the innings, being trapped leg before wicket by Mendis.

His sublime knock of 138 came off just 133 balls and was laced with ten boundaries and a six.

Down the order, Yuvraj chipped in with an unbeaten 41-ball cameo of 56 that had six fours and a six in it.

Brief Score:
India: 319 for 5 (Tendulkar 138, Yuvraj 56*, Dhoni 56)
Sri Lanka: 272 (Kandamby 66, Harbhajan 5-57)
Results: India beat Sri Lanka by 46 runs
Series: India won Compaq Cup, 2009
Man of the match: Sachin Tendulkar (India)
Man of the series: Sachin Tendulkar (India)

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