India knocked out of World T20

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> A series of poor performances by the team had ensured that by Tuesday, India was knocked out of the World T20.

Updated: May 12, 2010 08:09 IST
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New Delhi:

A series of poor performances had ensured that by Tuesday, all of India knew the answer to a math puzzle that would decide Team India's fate at the World T20. To grab a place in the semi-finals, first India had to do its bit and then, wait in hope that Australia would.

Well, Australia played its part by comprehensively beating the West Indies by six wickets - bundling them out for 105 in 19 overs and cruising to a win with 22 balls to spare - but India had already been knocked out of the tournament by then. Read: Australia humble Windies as hosts bow out

A five-wicket defeat to Lanka, who first crossed 143 to knock India out of the tournament and then added insult to injury by winning the match with a six off the last ball. The win secured Lanka a berth in the semi-finals.

There were no excuses to fall back upon. India went in with the knowledge that they had to beat Sri Lanka by a margin of at least 20 runs, and got an early advantage by winning the toss.

India batted first, putting 163 for five on the board. It proved about 20 runs too short and Chamara Kapugedara's six off Ashish Nehra in the last ball of the 20th emphatically proved the point as Sri Lanka ended at 167 for five after a wobbly start.

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India were going great guns initially as they were 90 for one in 10 overs but could muster only 37 runs in the last five overs and the total proved sufficient in the end.

Suresh Raina top scored for India with a 47-ball 63 and Gautam Gambhir contributed 41 after Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat.

Angelo Mathews (46) played a gem of an innings for Sri Lanka under pressure and with his skipper Kumar Sangakkara (46) knit a valubale 56-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

In Pics: India's World T20 exit

The start of India defence could not have been better as in-form Mahela Jayawrdene (4) and Sanath Jayasuriya (0) were back in the dug out by the end of second over.

Tillkaratane Dilshan (33) though was unperturbed and smashed Nehra for three fours and extracted 13 runs from Harbhajan Singh's first over.

Dilshan looked like taking the match away from India but Yusuf Pathan struck for his side, getting rid of the dangerous Lankan, having him caught at square leg by Yuvraj Singh.

India though hardly could breath easy as Sangakkara and Mathews batted with determination and brought their team back in the hunt.

Sangakkara hit Pathan for two sixes in the 14th over, picking up 16 runs to turn the heat on the Indians but Vinay Kumar struck again by removing the Lankan skipper.

The fortunes were fluctuating but Mathews and Kapugedara were not ready to throw in the towel and rather hit their bats at each and every thing which Indians threw at them.

They kept getting boundaries and Kapugedara's two sixes off Piyush Chawla in the penultimate over brought Sri Lanka close to win.

India captain Dhoni handed the ball to Nehra and Mathews swung the bat splendidly and result was a six over long-off in the first ball. A few runs came from singles and twos.

Mathews ran himself out in the fifth ball, leaving Kapugedara to score three runs off the final ball and his colleague finished it in style, smashing a six over covers.

In the last World Cup also, India had failed to win any match in the Super Eights stage.

Earlier, Raina, Gambhir and Dhoni (23 not out) batted well for India though could score heavy.

India were 90 for one at half-way mark but could not accelerate much afterwards due to slow nature of the wicket and some good bowling by Lankan bowlers, particularly Lasith Malinga (2/25) and Thissara Perera (2/44).

Dinesh Karthik, who replaced Murali Vijay, started off with a bang by dispatching the first ball of innings off Angelo Mathews to the point boundary.

Karthik (13) looked in good touch as he was striking the ball well but a leading edge off Malinga ended his stay at the crease, though India made a steady start.

In comes Raina and the diminutive southpaw, who had hit his maiden T20 century at this very ground on May 2, hit Thilan Thushara for three fours in the sixth over.

Gambhir, dropped on five by Kumar Sangakkara, was happy playing the second fiddle and the two left-handers took India to 90 for one in 10 overs.

India were 96 for one in 11 overs when Gambhir was snared behind the wicket by Sangakkarra off Malinga and the 66-run partnership ended.

Gambhir's fall was to bring Dhoni into the simmering cauldron and the Indian captain made 19-ball 23 not out.

Raina, named captain for the tri-series in Zimbabwe, tucked, back cut and swung with gay abandon, bringing up his 50 in just 33 balls, interspersed with five boundaries and a six off Suraj Randiv.

It was in the look out for runs that Raina fell, holing out to Jayawaredene in the deep off Thilan Thushara, who bled 42 runs in his four overs.

Malinga and Perera did well in the end for their side as Sri Lanka conceded just 37 runs in the last five overs.

(With PTI inputs)

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