Tendulkar, Harbhajan script India’s tri-series triumph (1 of 2)

Good morning friends.   Tendulkar, Harbhajan script India’s tri-series triumph.  Tendulkar seemed to be domineering as he marked up his 44th ODI century with an eye-catching demonstration  of his  stroke play.  He is very good in that.

Sachin Tendulkar’s 44th ODI century and Harbhajan Singh’s five-wicket haul scripted India’s tri-series triumph as the visitors raised their game when it mattered most and cruised to a 46-run win in the final match against Sri Lanka here on Monday.

Thumped by 139 runs in their Saturday’s meeting which cost them world number one ODI team’s tag, India first amassed 319 for five and then shot out Sri Lanka for 273 in 46.4 overs to settle score.

Chasing a mammoth 320-run target, Sri Lanka got the perfect start from Tillakaratne Dilshan (42 off 29 balls) and Sanath Jayasuriya (36) before running out of steam. Down the order, the 70-run stand between Thilina Kandamby (66) Chamara Kapugedera (35) was a mere act of defiance and not enough to turn the match on its head.

Harbhajan Singh (5/56) was the wrecker-in-chief even though he missed a hat-trick chance.

Earlier, the Indian top order fired in unison and Tendulkar’s majestic 133-ball 138 lifted them to a massive 319 for five wickets after Mahendra Singh Dhoni had won an important toss and elected to bat.

Tendulkar raised 95 runs with makeshift opener Rahul Dravid (39) and 110 with next man in Dhoni (56) and then Yuvraj Singh (56) provided the late charge to take the tally past the 300-mark.

The target was tough but Sri Lanka looked game for a fight with Dilshan going after Ishant Sharma. Dilshan greeted Ishant with back-to-back fours in his first over and then went on a rampage.

The famous Dilscoop was not far behind either as Dilshan executed the shot against his bemused Delhi Daredevils teammate Ashish Nehra.

Desperate for a breakthrough, Dhoni pressed in service Harbhajan Singh as early as in the eighth over and the offie did not let his skipper down, dealing a double strike that knocked the stuff out of Sri Lanka’s chase.

Harbhajan castled Dilshan with his fifth delivery and then returned to catch Mahela Jayawardene (1) off his own bowling in his next over.

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