India rout Sri Lanka, become world number one Test side
India today became the number one team in Test rankings after they spanked Sri Lanka by an innings and 24 runs in the third and final cricket Test to clinch the three-match series by a 2-0 margin.cricket Updated: Dec 07, 2009 19:54 IST
India today became the number one team in Test rankings after they spanked Sri Lanka by an innings and 24 runs in the third and final cricket Test to clinch the three-match series by a 2-0 margin.
Needing just four wickets to record an emphatic victory, the hosts took just about 40 minutes to polish off the visiting team's tail to record their second consecutive innings victory.
Resuming at 274 for six, the Sri Lankans lost their heroic captain Kumar Sangakkara (137) in the very first over and were bundled out for 309 with Zaheer Khan being the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of 5/72.
The Sunday crowd at the Brabourne Stadium, hosting a Test match after a gap of 36 years, witnessed a historic moment as Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men crowned themselves the number one team.
The crowd erupted into a frenzy as Muttiah Muralitharan edged a flighted delivery from Harbhajan Singh to Dhoni to bring down the curtains on the Lankan innings.
The Indian players hugged each other and a beaming coach Gary Kirsten greeted them as they returned to the pavillion.
The victory has given India three points in the ICC rankings, taking their overall tally to 122 and leaving them ahead of South Africa and Sri Lanka in the ICC table.
The teams will now gear up for two Twenty20 matches in Nagpur and Mohali followed by a five-match one-day series which begins at Rajkot from December 15.
The match would be best remembered for the blazing 293-run knock that Indian opener Virender Sehwag played. The right-hander, however, missed out on becoming the first batsman in the game's history to score three triple tons.
Such was India's dominance that Dhoni's men completed the comprehensive victory in just 7.4 overs this morning.
Zaheer hastened Lanka to their doom by claiming three of the last four wickets to finish with his eighth five-wicket innings haul.
The 31-year-old pacer's figures in the morning sessions read an astonishing 4-1-21-3. Sri Lanka needed 59 more runs to make India bat again but with just four wickets in hand to start the day, only a miracle could have saved the match for them.
After having brought down the visitors to their knees last evening, India dismissed Sangakkara off the third ball to start their victory march.
Zaheer swung the ball a bit away and Sangakkara, who struck his 20th four off his previous ball, was drawn to it like a magnet but only managed to edge it to counterpart Dhoni.
He could add only four runs to his overnight score and fell for 137 in 349 minutes after having prevented the hosts from sweeping to victory last evening.
Zaheer then dismissed Rangana Herath in his third over, caught by a diving Pragyan Ojha at short mid-wicket.
Muthiah Muralitharan then used the long handle against Zaheer by carting the bowler for three fours in one over before the left-arm pacer sent back overnight unbeaten batsman Nuwan Kulasekara.
Kulasekara, resuming at 9, could not negotiate a rising ball from Zaheer and edged it to second slip fielder VVS Laxman. He added 10 more runs including two boundary hits to his individual score.
Harbhajan then brought down curtains on the match by having Muralitharan caught behind as he tried an almighty heave to give Dhoni his sixth catch in the match.
Spinners Harbhajan, who looked unimpressive for the major part, and Pragyan Ojha finished with two wickets apiece for 80 and 84 runs respectively while S Sreesanth bagged 1 for 36.
It was the second successive innings victory for India following their resounding win by an innings and 144 runs in the second Test at Kanpur. The first Test at Ahmedabad was drawn.
It was also India's 101st Test win and their fifth at this venue in 18 matches.