New Delhi:India defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the 11th one-dayer at Hobart on Tuesday to set up a clash against Australia in the best of three finals of the Commonwealth Bank tri-series.
In what turned out to be a one-sided encounter at the Bellerive Oval, the Indian batsmen reached the target with 17.4 overs to spare.
Sachin Tendulkar, who has not been in the best of form in the series, marked his return to form with a sizzling 54-ball 63 on a good batting track.
Gautam Gambhir, who remained not out on 64 from 90 balls, held the innings together after Robin Uthappa, promoted to open the innings, was out cheaply for 11 in the second over.
Indian pacemen Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma captured four wickets each as the Sri Lankan innings collapsed for 179.
Praveen Kumar, who was playing only his second ODI of the series, took the key wickets of Kumar Sangakkara (33), Chamara Silva (0) and skipper Mahela Jayawardene (3), to give the Indians the advantage in their push to guarantee a tri-series berth.
Sri Lanka collapsed to 94 for 7 in 26 overs before Chamara Kapugedera rescued the innings with a solid 57-run knock.
MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to bowl, with in-form paceman Ishant Sharma removing Dilruwan Perera for 8.
Irfan Pathan claimed the prized wicket of the dangerous batsman Sanath Jayasuriya with a brilliant swinger.
Sangakkara departed for 33. Jayasuriya followed suit with 34 runs to his credit, as Kumar and Sharma ripped through the middle-order, picking up six wickets for 21 runs in 11 overs.
Kapugedara gave the Sri Lankans something to smile at when he struck four boundaries in his 86-ball knock before getting out.
India made two changes from the XI which played against Australia, bringing in Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel in place of Virender Sehwag and S Sreesanth.
Sri Lanka brought in Chamara Kapugedara for Fraveez Mahroof from the XI in their last match against Australia.
For the Indians, this was a must-win match to qualify for the best of three finals.
Australia had already qualified with 26 points from seven matches while India were at the second spot with 17 points from six outings. Sri Lanka were at the third slot with six points from as many matches.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan and Praveen Kumar.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardena (capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Chamara Silva, Chamara Kapugedara, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, MKDI Amerasinghe and MDK Perera.