Sri Lanka win ends India's nightmare tour Down Under
India's worst tour of Australia in the last 45 years ended on Friday when their faint hopes of qualifying for the tri-series finals were dashed with Sri Lanka pulling off a nail-biting nine-run victory over Australia in the last league in Melbourne.
India needed an Australian win to qualify for the finals but it was Sri Lanka who secured a passage to the summit showdown as they scraped past the hosts in a match which saw fortunes fluctuate till the very end at the MCG.
Electing to bat, Sri Lanka put up a modest 238 runs and then bowled out the hosts for 229 to win with five balls to spare.
In the nerve-wrecking final moments of the game, Australia needed 10 runs in the last over off Nuwan Kulasekar but David Hussey's mighty heave was caught by Tillakaratne Dilshan at long-off to trigger off wild celebrations in the Sri Lankan camp.
The Indians had lost a Test series 0-4 on Australian soil way back in 1967-68 and the current 0-4 whitewash is the heaviest defeat since then. India have been whitewashed in a Test series three times in Australia.
Malinga starred with four wickets
Both Australia and Sri Lanka now have 19 points each and will clash in the best of three finals, beginning at Brisbane on Sunday.
India remained on 15 points, having managed to win only three matches, one tie against Sri Lanka and four defeats.
The Australian chase was guided well by stand-in skipper Shane Watson, who scored 65 runs, and David Hussey's fighting 74, but they lacked the fire power in the end to overhaul the modest target.
For Sri Lanka Kumar Sangakkara (64), Dinesh Chandimal (75) and Lahiru Thirimanne (51) were the chief contributors to the total.Lasith Malinga, who had a horrendous match against India on Tuesday, was the star performer this time as he picked four wickets including that of Watson, David Warner (6) and Peter Forrest (2).