India top rankings after beating Sri Lanka

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The Independent Online

Zaheer Khan completed a five-wicket haul as India defeated Sri Lanka by an innings and 24 runs in the final Test in Mumbai, the home side achieving victory inside the first hour on day five.

The 2-0 series triumph takes India above South Africa and to the top of the International Cricket Council's rankings for Test teams for the first time.

Zaheer claimed three of the final four wickets to fall as Sri Lanka, resuming on 274 for six - 59 adrift of India's first innings total of 726 for nine declared - were bowled out for 309.

Zaheer secured the breakthrough with the third delivery of the morning, snaring Kumar Sangakkara and ending a defiant stand for the seventh wicket with Nuwan Kulasekara which yielded 70.

Sangakkara had defended the first delivery from Zaheer and struck a boundary off the second, a thickish outside edge carrying it away from the fielder at backward point and over the ropes to take the captain's score to 137.

Zaheer's next delivery, however, was pitched on middle and moved away a touch, inducing the edge which went straight to Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

India edged closer to victory when Zaheer struck again in his third over, this time snaring Rangana Herath with a short delivery. Herath shaped to pull, but only managed an edge which Pragyan Ojha smartly snapped up with a lunge at midwicket.

Muttiah Muralitharan walked out to the crease and immediately unleashed his customary belligerence, lashing Zaheer for three boundaries in the remainder of his third over. The left-arm paceman, however, struck again to end Kulasekara's determined stint with the bat.

The tail-ender stabbed at a rising delivery from Zaheer and the edge travelled at a comfortable height to VVS Laxman at second slip.

Harbhajan Singh ended Muralitharan's cameo, flicking the edge as the batsman attempted to slog-sweep and presenting Dhoni with another catch. Zaheer finished with five wickets for 72 runs from 21 overs, while Harbhajan had two for 80 from 34.4.