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Sri Lanka beat sluggish India by 6 wickets to win ICC World T20

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Sri Lanka won the battle of the subcontinental sides, beating India by 6 wickets in a largely one sided contest at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday. Sri Lanka won the toss and put India in, a move which paid rich dividends as India struggled to 130-4 in their 20 overs, despite an outstanding 77 from just 58 balls from India's talisman Virat Kohli, who was brilliantly deprived of the strike in the last 5 overs as Sri Lanka's bowlers reigned supreme.

Sri Lanka chased down the paltry target with 13 balls to spare with former skipper Kumar Sangakkara leading the way in his final T20 innings with an unbeaten 52 from 35 balls to guide his team to an easy win.

India made a characteristic slow start to the game, posting 31-1 in the powerplay with Ajinkya Rahane the early casualty for 3. Rahane was to have a poor final, also dropping a crucial catch late in the game. Rohit Sharma provided the early impetus for India, making a 29 from 26 balls before falling to Rangana Herath, caught at short cover.

Virat Kohli took a while to get going as usual, but started to dominate the game in the middle overs as India finally started to get a move on. Unfortunately for him, his partner out in the middle Yuvraj Singh had one of the worst outings of his professional career, making a painstaking 11 from 21 balls, struggling to put bat to ball against either the offspinner or the Lankan medium pacers.

Sri Lanka to their credit bowled really well, but Yuvraj's lack of timing cost India the game as Sri Lanka kept the scoring to under a run a ball for large periods much to the frustration of Virat Kohli, who watched in disbelief from the non-striker's end as Yuvi wasted 2-3 balls each over before turning over the strike.

When Yuvraj finally fell in the 19th over, the damage was already done, and even MS Dhoni's decision to promote himself ahead of Suresh Raina failed to deliver as India had not done their homework on how to combat the Lankan death bowling, and the Indian skipper made an uncharacteristic 4 from 7 balls.

While credit has to be given to the Lankan bowlers for their accuracy and gameplan, India's decision to live on past glories and not genuinely prepare for the threat of their opposition was well evidenced. Sri Lanka's bowlers were brilliant, none of them conceding even 30 runs from their 4 overs, and India will rue having 6 wickets in the hutch and not using them.

India got the early breakthrough they desperately needed with Kusal Perera falling for 5 to Mohit Sharma, but thereafter Sri Lanka stitched together the partnerships they needed to build a foundation for victory. Tillakaratne Dilshan (18) and Mahela Jayawardene (24) chipped in with useful contributions and India might have sensed a small door opening when Lahiru Thirimanne fell for 7, leaving Sri Lanka in a spot of bother at 77-4.

However, on a pitch that didn't really offer any assistance to the spinners, India found themselves facing a specialist in success in Kumara Sangakkara, who in the company of Thisara Perera (21 from 14 balls), led his side to a comfortable win in just the 18th over.

Mini Scorecard:

India 130-4 (20 overs, 6.5 rpo)

V Kohli 77 (58) R Herath 1-23 (4)

R Sharma 29 (26) A Mathews 1-25 (4)

Sri Lanka 132-4 (17.5 overs, 7.4rpo)

K Sangakkara 52* (35) M Sharma 1-18 (2)

M Jayawardene 24 (24) S Raina 1-24 (4)

Sri Lanka win by 6 wickets