Mathews and Kapugedera down India
A late onslaught from Angelo Mathews and Chamara Kapugedera helped Sri Lanka to a five-wicket victory over India in St Lucia, which put them on the verge of a place in the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20.
Sri Lanka, chasing 164, knew that they needed to score at least 144 to ensure their net run-rate would keep them in with a chance, and end India’s hopes.
Their pursuit started shakily as Mahela Jayawardene and Sanath Jayasuriya departed cheaply to leave Sri Lanka six for two but Mathews, who struck 46, and Kapugedera, with 37 not out, steered them to within sight of victory.
Ashish Nehra ran Mathews out from the penultimate delivery with three still needed but Kapugedera, who had stolen the strike, carved the last ball over the cover boundary for six.
Earlier, Jayawardene nicked Nehra to Yusuf Pathan at first slip and Jayasuriya gave Vinay Kumar his first wicket in international cricket by pulling to Dinesh Karthik at midwicket.
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara launched a spirited recovery, with Dilshan striking four boundaries from his first 11 balls.
Dilshan was caught by Yuvraj Singh at deep backward square-leg off Pathan for 33, but Mathews helped keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Sangakkara was then bowled by Kumar for 46, but Kapugedera stepped in as he and Mathews plundered a series of sixes against a dispirited India attack in the final overs.
Suresh Raina had been the star of the India innings with 63 from 47 balls, but the tone was set early on by an attacking opening by Karthik and Gautam Gambhir.
Karthik's leading edge saw him caught and bowled off Lasith Malinga.
Raina, who scored a century against South Africa earlier in the tournament, and Gambhir tucked into the bowling of Mathews and Thilan Thushara to keep the scoreboard rattling along.
Their partnership of 66 came to an end when Gambhir fended a Malinga delivery to wicketkeeper Sangakkara on 41.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni blasted Jayasuriya for a six, but the run-rate began to slow as Malinga, who finished with 2-25, and Thissara Perera were able to limit the batsmen to singles during the middles overs.
Raina struck a four to move to 63 but got too greedy later in the same Thushara over and was caught at deep midwicket by Jayawardene as India reached 163 for five.