Perth: India's feted openers exited too early, and the inexperienced middle order succumbed to old failings, but their bowling allrounders Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin showed admirable poise to steer a wobbly chase home. Virat Kohli's authoritative 77 set the agenda for India, but they began to falter when he contracted cramps around the mid-point of the innings. His exit, run out while attempting a hopeless single, meant India had lost their sixth wicket 53 adrift of the target. Ashwin and Jadeja guided India to the finish, braving the Lasith Malinga threat and the epidemic bout of nerves that had blighted the middle order.
Sri Lanka deserved a part of the blame, for not going hard enough at India after Kohli's fall. Malinga, who yorked the stumps with a typical sling-shot throw from mid-on to catch a diving Kohli short in the 36th over, had four overs left. Mahela Jayawardene brought his trump card on quickly, but didn't provide him with the Test-match fields that the situation demanded. Malinga was off after two quick overs that were handled well, and by the time he returned for the 45th over, India needed only 17 more runs. It was too late - Ashwin and Jadeja had played themselves in, and ticked the runs away with composure.