London: Ajit Agarkar and the rest of the underrated Indian pace attack were the architects of a four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka at The Oval on Sunday - a result that sent Sourav Ganguly's side into the outright lead of the triangular series table.
Man-of-the-match Agarkar (three for 44) and Zaheer Khan (three for 48) strangled the life out of the Sri Lankan innings after captain Sanath Jayasuriya marked his 33rd birthday by winning the toss. But, India made hard work of its second win in two matches, before finishing on 203 for six with 28 balls to spare in reply to Sri Lanka's 202 for eight.
India was once again indebted to Yuvraj Singh (31). Yuvraj's 64 not out helped India to victory over Lord's on Saturday and the 20-year-old found himself involved in his second recovery mission of the weekend. This time he was well-supported by Mohammad Kaif (38 not out off 44 balls), who came in when India were wobbling at 135 for five in the 33rd over.
But with India eight runs short of victory, Yuvraj needlessly got out. Sachin Tendulkar's 49 delighted the thousands of India supporters in the capacity crowd but this time it was Agarkar who had the lead role. For Sri Lanka, Mahela Jayawardene top scored with 62 with Jayasuriya (36) and Chaminda Vaas (26 not out) being the only other significant contributors. It was the Sri Lankans second defeat of the tournament after it lost its opener by 44 runs against England on Thursday.