Colombo: A magnificent century from Sachin Tendulkar and a deadly bowling spell from Harbhajan Singh helped India to a 46-run victory over Sri Lanka in the Compaq Cup triangular one-day series in Colombo.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, Master Blaster's 44th century and half centuries from captain Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh helped India to post a huge score of 319/5 in fifty overs.
Chasing an impromptu total set by India, Lankans were were all out for 273 in 46.4 overs and lost the match by 46 runs.
Singh was the 'chief destoyer' in Indian camp as he claimed five Sri Lankan wickets for 56 runs.
Bhajji, made the initial breakthrough when he dismissed dangerous Dilshan for 42 runs in the eight over Lankan innings. Harbhajan soon struck again, getting rid off Mahela Jayawardene for 1 with a brilliantly disguised delivery and completed a simple catch pegging Lanka back to 76/2 from 64/0 in just nine overs.
Part-time off-spinner Yusuf Pathan removed Jayasuriya in his first over - the 11th of the innings - to leave the home side struggling at 85 for three.
Lanka promoted Thilan Thushara to pinch-hitter, but the experiment failed as batsman making just 15 before falling victim to Ishant.
Yuvraj then dismissed Angelo Mathews cheaply as the Lankan chase ran out of steam.
Captain Kumar Sangakkara and Thilina Kandamby revived Sri Lanka with a 51-run stand for the sixth wicket, when India earned a lucky break to make it 182-6. It was indeed the turning point of the match. Sagakkara, who made 33, saw his bat fly out of his hands and break the stumps as he attempted to pull a full toss from Rudra Pratap Singh.
Kandamby and Chamara Kapugedara threatened the Indians by adding 70 for the seventh wicket, but both batsmen fell in the space of 12 runs, derailing the Sri Lankans.
Earlier Tendulkar provided the thrust from the very start as he laid a strong foundation with a 95-run association for the opening wicket with Rahul Dravid (39) and then stitched the valuable partnership with skipper Dhoni. Indian skipper made 56 from 62 balls during a second-wicket stand of 110 with Tendulkar
Yuvraj Singh came up with some late fire works 56 (41) as India plundered 85 runs in the last 10 overs.
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar has given a fitting answer to his critics who say 'Sachin always fails in the finals' of any tournaments. The veteran battled oppressive heat and humidity to bat for 46 overs despite developing leg cramps in the later part of his innings. Tendulkar hit 10 fours and a sixer in his sizzling knock.
It was Sachin's 86th international century, 42 in Tests and 44 in one-dayers. He had scored 12,773 Test runs and 16,895 one-day runs in his 20-year career.
Sachin Tendulkar won the "Man of the Match award" and "Man of the Series" award. It was Sachin's 59th "Man of the Match" and 14th 'Man of the Series award. Harbhjan Singh won the "Most Stylish Player of the Day" award.