Local boy Yuvraj Singh celebrated his 28th birthday in style through an all-round performance that saw India chase the highest ever chase in the T20I history. India succesfully chased 207 with Yuvraj Singh playing a sizzling unbeaten knock of 60 from 25 balls after Virender Sehwag had set things up with a 36-ball 64.
Sri Lanka batting first had run away with the game through an 81-run partnership between Jayasuriya (31 from 21 balls with 5 fours and a six) and Sangakkara (59 from 31 balls with 8 fours and 2 sixes). The partnership took Sri Lanka to 91 for 2 inside just 8 overs although the visitors had a bad start when Ishant Sharma knocked out the legstump of Dilshan in the 2nd over. The Indian bowlers sprayed plenty of wides down the legside to put MS Dhoni in trouble.
Just when Sri Lanka were heading towards a massive total, Yuvraj Singh applied the brakes to pull things down which started with the dismissal of Sangakkara. The Indian fielders dropped atleast half a dozen catches but Sri Lanka were never going with the same kind of momentum that was maintained by their Skipper. Newcomer Chintaka Jayasinghe got the scoreboard moving after his team was under pressure losing Mahela Jayawardene and Chamara Kapugedera cheaply. Jayasinghe played well for his 38 from 28 balls (with 3 fours and a six).
Sri Lanka at one stage were in the danger of getting bowled out for less than 180 but the Indian pacers spoiled all that by giving plenty of runs in the last two overs. Angelo Mathews gave a perfect finish to the innings scoring an unbeaten 26 from 13 balls (with a four and two sixes) to take SL to 206 for 7. For India, Yuvraj Singh took 3 for 23 in 3 overs and Ravindra Jadeja bowled some good yorkers to finish with 0 for 30 in his 4 overs. Debutant Sudeep Tyagi showed good pace and bounce but couldn’t keep the batsmen tucked up.
India’s chase got going with Virender Sehwag hitting a couple of towering shots over extra covers. His partner Gautam Gambhir struggled to get any flow but saw the team to 58 in 6 overs before getting run out. Fortunately for India, Sehwag continued to find the boundaries despite some red hot pace from Dilhara Fernando and Lasith Malinga. In the company of MS Dhoni, Sehwag took India past the 100-run mark inside the 10 overs. He got out in the 11th over holing out to long on having scored a superb 64 from 36 balls with 7 fours and 3 sixes. The luck was with Sehwag and India as the Lankans not only dropped a few catches but also failed to hit the stumps plenty of times when the batsmen had given it up.
The new man in after Sehwag – Yuvraj Singh straightaway got into his groove with meaty strikes down the ground. Dhoni too was in good touch striking the ball clean and long. He got out to a pacy yorker from Dilhara Fernando in the 17th over having made 46 from 28 (with 3 fours and 2 sixes) while putting on two partnerships of 50+.
India needed just 19 from 18 balls when Dhoni got out and Yuvraj finished the match without a fuss in the final over with a six off the first ball. Yuvraj’s 60 from 25 balls contained 3 fours and 5 sixes. He got the Man of the Match award and Sangakkara for his two fifties got the Player of the Series.