India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni underlined his status as the world's best finisher as he engineered a dramatic one-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the tri-nations final at Port of Spain.
Dhoni was left with 15 required from the final over and only last man Ishant Sharma at the other end. Yet the 32-year-old needed just four of the six balls available to him to seal the result, crashing Shaminda Eranga over the cover ropes for the match-winning shot.
Sri Lanka were, therefore, made to pay for a stunning collapse when they were bowled out for 201 from 48.5 overs. The islanders lost 8-30, which ultimately proved costly, although they had their chances to steal the win as well as grounds for grievance that Dhoni should not have departed earlier.
The India captain was on two when he appeared to veer into the way of a throw from mid-on, which struck him, to prevent it from hitting the stumps as he scampered for his ground.
The Sri Lankans questioned the validity of Dhoni's actions, which could have seen him given out under the new regulations for obstructing the field, but umpires Nigel Llong and Peter Nero ignored their pleas.
Even then Sri Lanka looked set for victory as Rangana Herath's 4-20 left India needing 20 when last man Ishant joined Dhoni.
Ishant twice then would have been caught short of his ground by direct hits before Dhoni took charge, even after missing Eranga's first ball, as he clubbed six, four, six to win the game and move to 45 not out.
India’s win leaves them top of the one-day international rankings at their annual update, which saw Australia move above England into second. Sri Lanka, whose skipper Angelo Mathews has been banned for the first two ODIs with South Africa this month due to a slow over-rate today, stay fifth.
India's chance initially stalled with the quick wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli before Rohit Sharma seemingly steadied them with a patient half-century.
The opener's dismissal, bowled by Herath, proceeded an India collapse of their own as they lost 4-13 to leave their hopes in the hands of Dhoni.
While wickets continued to tumble he again proved himself a dependable presence at the end to ensure the World Champions added this competition to their Champions Trophy success last month.
Earlier, Sri Lanka were cruising when Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne, who made 71 and 46 respectively, combined in a 122-run stand that progressed the score to 171 for two in the 38th over.
But with the foundation for a late assault seemingly set the departure of Thirimanne, caught slogging at Ishant, sparked a collapse of eight wickets in 11 overs.
Ravindra Jadeja, who returned 4-23, continued his knack for taking wickets with his innocuous-looking left-armers as he raced through the tail.