The rivalry between India v Sri Lanka goes back a long way. The first ever cricket match between the 2 countries was played way back in 1979. Since then, these two have been involved in some of the iconic matches in the game. Even though it does not hold the reputation of the Ashes or the India-Pakistan games, yet when you look back, there are so many matches involving these two that are etched in the history.
When it comes to the head to head record, India hold the lead in all the 3 formats of the game. Sri Lanka is not a huge country but it always punches above its weight and who would know that better than India. Unlike the recent years, the competition of the matches used to be fierce.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 historic matches of India v Sri Lanka
#5 India v Sri Lanka, 2008 Asia Cup Final
It was the championship of the Asian heavyweights in the year 2006. India and Sri Lanka had made it to the final of the Asia Cup having pipped Pakistan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong and UAE. The 2 teams had met in a game before the final having confirmed their berths for the summit clash. India chased down a massive 308 to prove their dominance.
In the final, Sri Lanka batted first and scored 273 courtesy a century from Sanath Jayasuriya. In those days, it was a good score but India, having chased down a bigger score in the previous game, were the favorites to lift the trophy. The Men in Blue made a blistering start and cruised past 70 in the 9 overs. Virender Sehwag was going all guns blazing and reached 60 in no time.
But what the MS Dhoni-led side was not aware of was the hidden ace in the opposition pack. Mahela Jayawardene, the then skipper of Sri Lanka, had rested Ajantha Mendis in the previous game. Indians were not aware of what the spinner could do. The first of his kind bowler removed Sehwag in the 10th over.
What followed next was absolute mayhem at the National Stadium, Karachi. One by one, every batsman surrendered to the mystery of Mendis. He bagged as many as 6 wickets and finished with figures of 13/6 from 8 overs. From 76/1, India were bowled out for 173 in the 40th over which meant that Sri Lanka were crowned the Asian Champions.
India won the toss and opted to bowl first
Sri Lanka: 273/10 in 49.5 overs
Sanath Jayasuriya 125 (114), Tillakaratne Dilshan 56 (74)
Ishant Sharma 52/3 (10), RP Singh 67/3 (9)
India: 173/10 in 39.3 overs
Virender Sehwag 60 (36), MS Dhoni 49 (74)
Ajantha Mendis 13/6 (8), Chaminda Vaas 55/2 (9)
Sri Lanka won by 100 runs
Player of the Match: Ajantha Mendis