India exhibited their batting prowess to perfection with their top order firing in unison to score an easy six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in their must-win Asia Cup Super Four match and set up a summit clash against the same opponents on Sunday.
India chased down the target of 309 with 19 balls to spare and after losing four wickets, thanks to a half-century each by Gautam Gambhir (68), captain M S Dhoni (67) and Suresh Raina (54) and a valuable 42 from Virender Sehwag after Sri Lanka, electing to bat, had made 308 for 8.
Statistical highlights of the match:
# India's total of 310 for four is the highest total by a team batting second and winning in the Asia Cup.
# India became the first team to successfully chase two totals of 300-plus in the Asia Cup -- both in the 2008 edition. They had first accomplished the feat against Pakistan (299-4) at Karachi on June 26, scoring 301 for four.
# India also became the first nation to successfully chase two totals of 300-plus at National Stadium, Karachi. Pakistan and England have achieved the feat once each at Karachi.
# In the Asia Cup, India posted their seventh victory against Sri Lanka. Both countries have won seven games each against each other in the Asia Cup.
# India have won 52 out of 100 ODIs played against Sri Lanka (Lost 38 and No Result 10).
# Sri Lanka, after five victories in succession in the Asia Cup between August 1, 2004 and June 30, 2008, have lost their first game.
# Sri Lanka (308/8) posted their fourth total of 300-plus in the 2008 Asia Cup -- 357 for 9 against Bangladesh at Lahore on June 25; 302 for 7 against Pakistan at Karachi on June 29; 332 for 8 against Bangladesh at Karachi on June 30 and 308 for eight against India at Karachi on July 3.
# The only occasion when they failed to put on 300 in the 2008 Asia Cup was against UAE -- 290 for 9 at Lahore on June 26.
# Sri Lanka's 308 for eight is their highest innings total against India in the Asia Cup, surpassing their 282 for four at Dambulla on July 18, 2004.
# Sri Lanka's total is the second highest by any team against India in the Asia Cup. Pakistan had made 309 for two against India at Karachi on July 2, 2008.
# India also registered their highest total against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup.
# Ishant Sharma (2/55) produced his best bowling performance in the Asia Cup, bettering his 1 for 48 against Bangladesh at Karachi on June 28, 2008.
# Mahendra Singh Dhoni, by dismissing both the Sri Lankan openers, took his tally to 9 (6 catches + 3 stumpings) in five matches -- the most by any wicketkeeper in the 2008 Asia Cup.
# Mahela Jayawardene (50) registered his highest score against a Test-playing country in the 2008 Asia Cup, his second fifty in the current competition. Against UAE at Lahore on June 26, he had made 61 off 43 balls.
# Jayawardene's 46th fifty is his 10th against India in ODIs.
# Kapugedera recorded his highest score against India. His second fifty against India is his fifth in ODIs.
# Kapugedera's 75 off 78 balls is his second best score in ODIs, next only to his 95 against West Indies at Port of Spain on April 10, 2008.
# Chamara Silva posted his first fifty in the Asia Cup, bettering his 46 against Pakistan at Karachi on June 29, 2008.
# For the first time in his ODI career, Irfan Pathan has conceded 80 runs in an innings (10-0-80-1). Against Australia at SCG on February 8, 2004, his bowling figures were 10-0-75-2.
\# Only Thiru Kumaran (10-0-86-0) has conceded more runs in an innings for India in the Asia Cup, against Pakistan at Dhaka on June 3, 2000.
# In their last seven outings, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have recorded two century stands and three eighty-plus in ODIs -- 155 against Pakistan at Mirpur on June 10, 2008; 85 against Bangladesh at Mirpur on June 12; 127 against Hong Kong at Karachi on June 25; 88 against Pakistan at Karachi on July 2 and 92 against Sri Lanka at Karachi on July 3.
# Overall, Gambhir and Sehwag have been associated in two century stands and six fifty-plus for the first wicket in 17 innings.
# Sehwag has batted splendidly in the 2008 Asia Cup, making 40-plus in all the four innings played by him. He has aggregated 288 runs at an average of 72.00, including one century and one fifty.
# Sehwag, in his last seven innings, has recorded 40-plus (one century, three fifties and two forty-plus) in six innings, his only failure being against Pakistan (2) in the Bangladesh tri-series final on June 14.
# Gambhir's 68 off 61 balls is his 11th fifty in ODIs and his second against Sri Lanka.
# Gambhir's ODI record against Sri Lanka is splendid, making 414 runs at an average of 82.80, including two centuries and two fifties, in seven games.
# Gambhir has recorded three fifties in the 2008 Asia Cup -- 51 against Hong Kong, 90 against Bangladesh and 68 against Sri Lanka. In five games, he has made 253 runs at an average of 50.60 (Strike Rate 104.11).
# Gambhir became the first batsman to aggregate 900 runs in ODIs in 2008 -- 902 at an average of 60.13 in 18 matches, including three centuries and five fifties. Salman Butt's tally of 774 (ave.55.28) in 15 matches is the next best this year.
# Suresh Raina became the first batsman to amass 350 runs or more in a single edition of the Asia Cup, 356 at an average of 89.00, including two centuries and two fifties at a strike rate of 112.65.
# Raina also completed his 1,000 runs in ODIs -- 1018 at an average of 35.18 in 44 games.
# Dhoni's fifth fifty against Sri Lanka is his 22nd in ODIs.
# Dhoni has amassed 278 runs at an average of 139.00 in the Asia Cup, including one century and two fifties.