Mumbai: A World Cup final many India fans hoped would witness Sachin Tendulkar score his hundredth international hundred saw Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardena beat him to the punch with a brilliant century.
Jayawardena top-scored with 103 not out in Sri Lanka's total of 274 for six at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
It was a far cry from the World Cup final of four years ago where Jayawardena was dismissed for just 19 as Australia triumphed in Barbados.
Jayawardena, 33, reached his century in superb style with two successive boundaries off Zaheer Khan.
First he cut the left-arm quick behind high behind square on the offside before next ball striking a brilliant boundary over mid-off to go to the landmark in 84 balls with 13 fours.
Jayawardena, who came in at 60 for two, has long had the enviable ability to make runs quickly without seeming to make a great effort.
He is also capable of great feats of batting concentration as he showed while making 374 against South Africa at Colombo in 2006 where he shared a Test record stand for any wicket of 624 with current skipper Kumar Sangakkara.
It had looked as if Zaheer, who finished with two for 60, would also erase memories of previous World Cup final heartache.
When India last played in a World Cup final, he conceded 67 runs in just seven overs during a 125-run thrashing by Australia in Johannesburg in 2003 that saw his opening 10-ball over cost 15 runs.
But it was a different story to start with on his home ground where he began with three successive maidens on Saturday.
Zaheer, maintaining an excellent line and length, tormented left-handed opener Upul Tharanga and kept Tillakaratne Dilshan in check.
Zaheer's pressure was rewarded with the first ball of his fourth over when he produced an excellent delivery on off-stump that cut away and had Tharanga, who struggled to two off 20 balls, edging to diving slip Virender Sehwag.
And it was only next ball, when Sangakkara dabbed to mid-on and set off for a hasty single, that Zaheer, whose first spell was a highly impressive 5-3-6-1, had finally given up a run.
When he returned, Zaheer had Chamara Kapugedera caught at cover off a deceptive slower ball to take his 21st wicket of this World Cup and so equal the tournament-best mark set by Pakistan captain and leg-spinner Shahid Afridi.
But the 32-year-old Zaheer, a boyhood fan of legendary Pakistan left-arm quick Wasim Akram, was unable to contain Jayawardena in the closing stages.