|M. S. Dhoni (L) and Umesh Yadav (R) leave the field after getting agonisingly close to victory [AFP]|
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni fell just short of pulling off another thrilling run chase as his team fought out a dramatic tie with Sri Lanka in the fifth triangular series match at Adelaide on Tuesday.
Needing four to win off the last delivery, Dhoni (58 not out) lofted paceman Lasith Malinga over cover but could manage
only three runs before the throw came in from the fielder patrolling the boundary.
India, needing nine off the last over, finished on 236 for nine wickets from their 50 overs, exactly the same score as Sri
On Sunday, in a similar situation against Australia at the same venue, India needed 13 off the last over and Dhoni hit a huge six to lead his team to a four-wicket victory.
Opener Gautam Gambhir (91), who had made 92 on Sunday, once again missed out on his hundred after he was run out by a direct hit at the non-striker’s end.
Dhoni called Gambhir for a non-existent single and sent him back, leaving him no chance of making his ground.
Left-handed opener Gambhir added 60 for the fifth wicket with Dhoni to anchor India’s chase after Sachin Tendulkar once again failed in his bid to complete his 100th international century.
Tendulkar (15) got a thick edge to Kumar Sangakkara behind the stumps off medium pacer Nuwan Kulasekara.
Sri Lankans collapse
Earlier, Sri Lanka lost their way during the batting powerplay, losing three wickets in quick succession.
Dinesh Chandimal (81), captain Mahela Jayawardene (43) and Thisara Perera (5) got out during the five-over period which took the momentum away from the innings.
Sri Lanka, who lost their first two matches in the triangular series, got off to a poor start after Jayawardene won
The islanders lost both their openers cheaply and it was left to Chandimal and Jayawardene to steady the innings with a 94-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Jayawardene was out lbw to medium pacer Vinay Kumar, who took three wickets for 46 runs, and Chandimal was run out attempting a quick single.
Tailender Sachithra Senanayake hit a quickfire 22 off just 14 balls to take Sri Lanka to a competitive total.
Sri Lanka host Australia in the sixth match of the triangular series in Sydney on Friday.