A sloppy India crashed out of the cricket tri-series after Sri Lanka, riding on Dinesh Chandimal's maiden century, thumped them by six wickets in a crucial one dayer in Harare on Saturday .
Tottering on the brink of disaster after their back-to-back defeat against Zimbabwe, India badly needed to win this match with a big margin to keep alive their final hopes but they could not pull off a repeat performance of their previous encounter with the Lankans and went down with 1.4 overs to spare.
Chandimal's (111) 118-ball knock, which included six fours and five sixes, knocked the stuffing out of India's feeble bowling attack as Sri Lanka cruised to 270 for four in 48.2 overs. Monday's Sri Lanka-Zimbabawe match is now rendered inconsequential and they would meet again in Wednesday's final at the same venue.
Earlier put into bat, India had posted 268 for nine with Virat Kohli (68), Yusuf Pathan (44) and R Ashwin (38) scoring bulk of the runs.
Desperate for a win, India effected three changes in the squad -- bringing in the uncapped trio of Naman Ojha, Pankaj Singh and R Ashwin while leaving out Murali Vijay, Umesh Yadav and Amit Mishra -- but the win remained elusive.
Sri Lanka's chase got off to a brisk start with Tillakaratne Dilshan (21) looking in his element before he fell to Ashok Dinda in the sixth over.
Chandimal joined Upul Tharanga (27) in the middle and looked quite at ease against the Indian attack. Even after Tharanga fell to R Ashwin, Chandimal continued the good work in company of Chamara Kapugedera (42). He used his feet well against the spinners and never allowed the Indian bowlers to dictate terms.
Chandimal smote Pankaj Singh over mid-on, greeted Pragyan Ojha with a six and twice hit Ashwin out of the ground. Ashwin eventually had Chandimal stumped in the 41st over but by then, the writing was clear on the wall for India. Jeevan Mendis (35) and Thilan Samaraweera (28) completed for the formality for the Sri Lankans with consummate ease. PTI