Mumbai: India defeated Sri Lanka by an innings and 24 runs in the third and final cricket Test at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai today and became the No 1 team in the ICC Test rankings. India displaced South Africa as the top test team in the world with this emphatic win.
Starting the fifth and final day of the third and penultimate Test match of the series on six down for 274 on Sunday, Sri Lanka faced the daunting task of avoiding the unavoidable, but speedster Zaheer Khan ensured the nation did not have to wait for its moment of glory for long, slicing through the remaining four wickets.
It was a team effort from the Indians which saw them creating history, as after piling on a mammoth 729 for 9 in the first innings, it was the bowlers who responded with brilliant individual performances.
Zaheer (5/72) started with a ripper in the first over to get rid of captain Kumar Sangakkara (137), who was the lone Lankan batsman to stand tall amid the Lankan ruins.
Harbhajan and Pragyan Ojha scalped two wickets each, while the hero of the Kanpur Test, Srisanth bagged one.
This was the third time in the last four years that India has won two matches in a row.
Once Sangakkara was gone, it was a matter of time before India romped home.
Both Rangana Herath and Nuwan Kulasekara succumbed to sharp short deliveries from Zaheer. Muttiah Muralitharan scored a quick 14, but edged Harbhajan Singh to MS Dhoni to kick off the India''s celebrations.
On the fourth day, Sangakkara denied India a quick win with his gritty and stylish batting.
India spent most of Saturday working its way through the Sri Lanka batting line-up, and was helped considerably by a middle-order collapse of four wickets for 25 runs immediately after lunch.