India’s last-gasp attempt to stay alive in the one-day tri-series is in tatters after Sri Lanka amassed 4-320 batting first at Bellerive.
Tillakaratne Dilshan (160no) and Kumar Sangakkara (105 from 87) made brilliant centuries, putting on a record second-wicket partnership for Sri Lanka in ODIs in the process.
Their 200 was also the biggest partnership in ODI’s at Bellerive, while Dilshan’s score was the second highest at the venue after Adam Gilchrist’s 172.
India now need to make an improbable 321 in 40 overs to earn the bonus point they need to have a hope of featuring in the three-match decider.
Even if they achieve it, they will still need Australia to beat Sri Lanka in the last match before the finals at the MCG on Friday.
India’s batting will need to show plenty more than a lethargic performance in the field that would have their fans questioning whether they were already halfway to the airport to head home.
Sachin Tendulkar, chasing his elusive 100th international century, will almost certainly bat for the last time in Australia, the Little Master unlikely to tour again with his 39th birthday looming in April.
Indian captain MS Dhoni sent Sri Lanka in with an eye on a bonus-point chase and $2 million IPL man Ravindra Jadeja had Mahela Jayawardene on his way for 22 in his first over at 1-49.
But they didn’t look like dismissing Dilshan or Sangakkara as they piled on their runs at better than a run a ball on a batsman-friendly wicket in cool conditions.
Dilshan hit 11 fours and three sixes, while Sangakkara returned to form with a sublime knock that included eight fours and two sixes before he was bowled by Praveen Kumar trying to slog him over the leg side.
Opener Dilshan, who was struck on the hand in the nets on Monday, reached his century off 132 balls and his 150 just 27 balls later, equalling his highest ODI score when he couldn’t put bat on the last delivery of the innings.