Riding on Irfan Pathan's five wicket haul, India defeated hosts Sri Lanka by 26 runs in their warm-up match before the World T20 at the P Sara Oval in Colombo. (AFP Photos)
India suffered an early setback when Gautam Gambhir was hit on the hand by a Lasith Malinga delivery causing him to retire hurt.
The Indian top order could not fire as Sehwag, Kohli and Raina folded early to leave India struggling at 51/4.
It was skipper MS Dhoni who led the resurrection along with Rohit Sharma as the duo put on 78 runs. Dhoni opened up in the latter stages to hit an unbeaten 55 off 42 balls while Sharma scored 37 from 26 deliveries.
Lanka too began on an inauspicious note. After the Sri Lankan openers departed early Kumar Sangakkara got them back into the match with a run-a-ball 32. He was ably supported by Lahiru Thirimanne and Jeevan Mendis who scored 24 and 26 respectively.
Irfan Pathan, however, was putting the ball in the right areas and took the crucial wicket of Mahela Jayawardena. What followed was a dramatic batting collapse for the Lankans as they lost 5 wickets for just 2 runs in 7 balls.
Irfan finished with match-winning figures of 5/25 off 4 overs as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 120. For India it was a convincing win and a confidence booster while Sri Lanka have some thinking to do. The only worry for the Indians is the seriousness of Gautam Gambhir's injury.
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