Sanath Jayasuriya's breathtaking batting overshadowed even a century from the star of India, Sachin Tendulkar, as Sri Lanka powered their way to victory in the World Cup Group A match in New Delhi on Saturday.
Chasing India's 271 for 3, Sri Lanka reached their target with eight balls remaining after Jayasuriya and his fellow opener, Romesh Kaluwitharana, had launched a tremendous onslaught, blasting the first 50 from only 28 deliveries.
Manoj Prabhakar was hit out of the attack after conceding 33 in just two overs, but India looked to be regaining control after Jayasuriya was third out for a 76-ball 79.
However, Hashan Tillekeratne and captain Arjuna Ranatunga shared a superb, unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 131 to ensure victory. It left Sri Lanka, once regarded as the whipping boys of World Cup cricket, undefeated at the top of their group and relishing the prospect of a quarter-final against England.
Tendulkar had earlier looked to have made the match safe for India as he powered his way to 137 at exactly a run a ball, his highest one-day international score, including taking 23 off one over by Ravindra Pushpakumara, making his World Cup debut.
It was his second century of the tournament and he and captain Mohammed Azharuddin, who made 72 not out, put on 175 for the third wicket before Tendulkar was run out in the final over.
Tendulkar's innings had included five sixes and eight fours and took him to 424 runs for only three dismissals in four matches in the tournament.
(Sri Lanka won toss)
M Prabhakar c Gurusinha b Pushpakumara 7
S R Tendulkar run out 137
S V Manjrekar c K'witharana b Dharmasena 32
*M Azharuddin not out 72
V G Kambli not out 1
Extras (b4, lb7, w11) 22
Total (for 3, 50 overs) 271
Fall: 1-27, 2-93, 3-268.
Did not bat: A D Jadeja, N R Mongia, A R Kumble, J Srinath, S A Ankola, V Prasad.
Bowling: Vaas 9-3-37-0; Pushpakumara 8-0-53-1; Muralitharan 10-1-42-0; Dharmasena 9-0-53-1; Jayasuriya 10-0-52-0; Ranatunga 4-0-23-0.
S T Jayasuriya c Prabhakar b Kumble 79
K S Kaluwitharana c Kumble b Prasad 26
A P Gurusinha run out 25
P A de Silva st Mongia b Kumble 8
*A Ranatunga not out 46
H P Tillekeratne not out 70
Extras (b4, lb9, w3, nb2) 18
Total (for 4, 48.4 overs) 272
Fall: 1-53, 2-129, 3-137, 4-141.
Did not bat: R S Mahanama, H D B K Dharmasena, W P U C J Vaas, K R Pushpakumara, M Muralitharan.
Bowling: Prabhakar 4-0-47-0; Srinath 9.4-0-51-0; Venkatesh Prasad 10- 1-53-1; Ankola 5-0-28-0; Kumble 10-1-39-2; Tendulkar 10-0-41-0.
Umpires: C J Mitchley (SA) and I D Robinson (Zim).Reuse content