St Lucia:India were knocked out of the World Twenty20 after suffering third defeat in a row as they lost their last Super Eights match to Sri Lanka by five wickets.
India were on Tuesday knocked out of the World Twenty20 after suffering third defeat in a row as they lost their last Super Eights match to Sri Lanka by five wickets here.
After putting on 163 for five, India needed to not only win the crunch rubber but by at least 20-run margin to give themselves an outside chance of sneaking into the semi-finals.
However, Sri Lanka not only ended India's hopes by with their thrilling win but also dented hosts West Indies' semi-final chances.
Chamara Kapugedara hit a six off Ashish Nehra in the last ball of the 20th over as Sri Lanka made 167 for five after a wobbly start.
Sri Lanka now have four points in group F and West Indies will have to win the next match against Australia with a considerable margin to remain in the competition.
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India were going great guns initially as they were 90 for one in 10 overs but could muster only 37 runs in the last five overs and the total proved sufficient in the end.
Suresh Raina top scored for India with a 47-ball 63 and Gautam Gambhir contributed 41 after Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat.
Angelo Mathews (46) played a gem of an innings for Sri Lanka under pressure and with his skipper Kumar Sangakkara (46) knit a valubale 56-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
The start of India defence could not have been better as in-form Mahela Jayawrdene (4) and Sanath Jayasuriya (0) were back in the dug out by the end of second over.
Tillkaratane Dilshan (33) though was unperturbed and smashed Nehra for three fours and extracted 13 runs from Harbhajan Singh's first over.
Dilshan looked like taking the match away from India but Yusuf Pathan struck for his side, getting rid of the dangerous Lankan, having him caught at square leg by Yuvraj Singh.
India though hardly could breath easy as Sangakkara and Mathews batted with determination and brought their team back in the hunt.
Sangakkara hit Pathan for two sixes in the 14th over, picking up 16 runs to turn the heat on the Indians but Vinay Kumar struck again by removing the Lankan skipper.
The fortunes were fluctuating but Mathews and Kapugedara were not ready to throw in the towel and rather hit their bats at each and every thing which Indians threw at them.
They kept getting boundaries and Kapugedara's two sixes off Piyush Chawla in the penultimate over brought Sri Lanka close to win.
India captain Dhoni handed the ball to Nehra and Mathews swung the bat splendidly and result was a six over long-off in the first ball. A few runs came from singles and twos.
Mathews ran himself out in the fifth ball, leaving Kapugedara to score three runs off the final ball and his colleague finished it in style, smashing a six over covers.
In the last World Cup also, India had failed to win any match in the Super Eights stage.
Earlier, Raina, Gambhir and Dhoni (23 not out) batted well for India though could score heavy.
India were 90 for one at half-way mark but could not accelerate much afterwards due to slow nature of the wicket and some good bowling by Lankan bowlers, particularly Lasith Malinga (2/25) and Thissara Perera (2/44).
Dinesh Karthik, who replaced Murali Vijay, started off with a bang by dispatching the first ball of innings off Angelo Mathews to the point boundary.
Karthik (13) looked in good touch as he was striking the ball well but a leading edge off Malinga ended his stay at the crease, though India made a steady start.
In comes Raina and the diminutive southpaw, who had hit his maiden T20 century at this very ground on May 2, hit Thilan Thushara for three fours in the sixth over.
Gambhir, dropped on five by Kumar Sangakkara, was happy playing the second fiddle and the two left-handers took India to 90 for one in 10 overs.
India were 96 for one in 11 overs when Gambhir was snared behind the wicket by Sangakkarra off Malinga and the 66-run partnership ended.
Gambhir's fall was to bring Dhoni into the simmering cauldron and the Indian captain made 19-ball 23 not out.
Raina, named captain for the tri-series in Zimbabwe, tucked, back cut and swung with gay abandon, bringing up his 50 in just 33 balls, interspersed with five boundaries and a six off Suraj Randiv.
It was in the look out for runs that Raina fell, holing out to Jayawaredene in the deep off Thilan Thushara, who bled 42 runs in his four overs.
Malinga and Perera did well in the end for their side as Sri Lanka conceded just 37 runs in the last five overs.