Adelaide, Feb 14: For the second game in a row, MS Dhoni was involved in a last-over thriller but he did not end up on the winning side this time but secured a tie for India against Sri Lanka at the Adelaide Oval here on Tuesday. This was the first ever tie between the two teams in 131 matches.
[Scorecard: India vs Sri Lanka, Feb 14, Adelaide]
Also read: List of tied ODIs
For India, this was their third tie since the World Cup 2011. During the World Cup 2011, they were involved in a tie with England in Bangalore (February 2011) and were tied with the same opponent in England last year (September 2011). And now a third tie. All three ties in the recent ODI history have been with India and Dhoni as captain.
Overall this was the 26th tie in ODI history.
There were enough twists and turns for the second match running in the tri-series, as India and Sri Lanka both scored identical 236/9 in their quota of 50 overs. However, India feel they were denied one ball during their chase as the 30th over, bowled by Lasith Malinga was a five-ball over with the umpires Nigel Llong of England and Australia's Simon Fry failing to take note of the error.
However, when Dhoni was asked about the five-ball over, he brushed off that query by saying that the match was over now and nothing can be done about that.
With nine runs required off the final over, bowled by slog overs' specialist Malinga, Dhoni and India could only get eight with three runs off those coming in the final ball where a boundary was needed from Dhoni's bat. He ended unbeaten on 58.
The final over action unfolded with Dhoni on strike. The first ball went for two runs but the next was a single. Vinay Kumar handed the strike back to his skipper. It was again one run for Dhoni as India had to get 4 from 2. Vinay, attempting a single to mid-off was run out to leave it to Dhoni to hit Malinga for a boundary off the final ball of the match.
As Malinga bowled a full ball wide on the offside, Dhoni carved it over extra cover where Sachithra Senanayake made a diving save but could not prevent the batsmen (Dhoni and Umesh Yadav) from taking three runs and it was a tie.
India had targeted Angelo Mathews' 49th over by taking him for 15 including a six from Irfan Pathan.
Sri Lanka could have been served better if they had not missed a couple of run outs and also a catch was put down by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara.
Against Australia on Sunday, Dhoni had won it for India with a huge six in the final over. But this time around, the "Mr. Finisher" fell short by one run.
Lightning never strikes (the same place) twice!
Gautam Gambhir was yet again the anchor of this chase of 237. And once again he fell in the 90s, this time for 91. He was dismissed for 92 against Australia at the same venue.
Gambhir and Dhoni resurrected the innings after being 118/4 in 27.4 overs. After Gambhir's run out, Sri Lanka found a way back into the game and kept taking wickets but could not dislodge Dhoni.
In the end, there were minor contributions from Ravichandran Ashwin and Irfan which helped Dhoni to take India closer. But with Malinga's difficult action and deliveries to deal with, India were denied a hat-trick of wins in the tri-series.
Sri Lanka opened their account with two points but remain winless and now meet Australia on Friday in Sydney. India, with nine points, lock horns with hosts on Sunday in Brisbane.
Sri Lanka Innings Report
Paceman Vinay Kumar took three wickets as India kept Sri Lanka to 236/9 in 50 overs in their tri-series match here at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.
It was a strong comeback by the Indian bowlers after Dinesh Chandimal (81) and captain Mahela Jayawardene (43) were running away with the game.
From 172/3 in 36 overs, Sri Lanka slumped to 184/6 off 39.4 overs as India struck three quick blows.
The Islanders, who were looking good for a score close to 300, failed to even touch 250.
Sri Lanka were 79/3 in 19.4 overs before Chandimal and Jayawardene started the repair work with a 94-run stand. The talented Chandimal was looking good for a hundred before Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni combination ran him out.
For India, it was Vinay Who was on top of wickets table with three for 46 in 10 overs. Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin was economical in his 10-over spell with 2/30.
Irfan Pathan, playing his first game of the tour, took one wicket for 38 runs.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was expensive, going wicktless for 58 in 10 overs.
In their previous outing between the two sides, India had limited Sri Lanka to 233/8 in Perth. After a mid-innings collapse, India managed to win by four wickets.
The fifth ODI of the tri-series between India and Sri Lanka got under way in Adelaide as Sri Lanka won the toss and elect to bat first. With two consecutive wins in the series, India look to maintain a good run while Sri Lanka on the other hand, having lost both their matches, will be eager to open their account.
Irfan Pathan is finally picked as Zaheer Khan is rested due to a calf strain and Sehwag also sits out due to a back spasm while master blaster Sachin Tendulkar is back. Sri Lanka include Thisara Perera and Rangana Herath in the playing XI as Dhammika Prasad is out with a niggle.
"In the previous matches, we left it for the lower order batsmen. Yeah, we should have finished the previous game in the 48th over. When you are chasing it is very important to take it to the end. Sehwag has a back spasm and is out, Zaheer has a problem with his right calf. Sachin returns, and Irfan is back," said Dhoni after losing the toss.
Sri Lanka: T Dilshan, U Tharanga, K Sangakkara, D Chandimal, M Jayawardene, A Mathews, T Perera, N Kulasekara, R Herath, L Malinga, S Senanayake
India: S Tendulkar, G Gambhir, V Kohli, S Raina, R Sharma, MS Dhoni, R Jadeja, R Ashwin, R Vinay Kumar, U Yadav, I Pathan,