ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai

Advantage Sri Lanka in World Cup match-ups

The seven World Cup matches between India and Sri Lanka have been mostly dramatic, with Sri Lanka having the numerical edge

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 1, 2011

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

1979, league match, Manchester


Sourav Ganguly gets a pat from Rahul Dravid after completing his hundred, India vs Sri Lanka, Group A, ICC World Cup, Taunton, May 26, 1999
The Dravid-Ganguly assault shocked Sri Lanka in Taunton © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: India | Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's victory by 47 runs in this encounter was a milestone in their cricketing history - their first win in a World Cup game. Sri Lanka ran up a competitive total after a delayed start, with the trio of Sidath Wettimuny, Roy Dias and Duleep Mendis making half-centuries. There was also a cameo from the youngest player in the tournament, Sudath Pasqual, which pushed them to 238. In reply, India's top order got starts but the de Silvas - Somachandra and Stanley - nipped out the heart of the batting. From 119 for 2, India crashed to 191 all out to round off a miserable campaign, which ended with no wins. Sri Lanka had qualified for the 1979 event after winning the Associates tournament, and this win over an established nation helped strengthen their case for Test status.

1992, league match, Mackay

This India-Sri Lanka clash was deemed to be so low-profile by the organisers that it was the only match to be scheduled at Harrup Park in Queensland which had not hosted any internationals previously. Incessant rain meant that only two deliveries were possible before the game was called off, and Harrup Park hasn't hosted any international matches since, making this game something of a familiar name in cricketing quizzes.

1996, league match, New Delhi

Sachin Tendulkar made a run-a-ball 137, which included a volley of sixes towards the end that lifted India to a seemingly sufficient 271. Few Indian fans remember the innings though, and the match sticks in memory far more for Manoj Prabhakar's hapless bowling in what turned out to be his final international match. Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana added to the growing buzz around their opening partnership by bludgeoning 50 by the fifth over, with Prabhakar's medium-pace going for 33 in two overs. Prabhakar, till then a key member of the line-up who opened both the bowling and the batting, was reduced to trying equally ineffective offspin. Sri Lanka cruised to a six-wicket win, with Arjuna Ranatunga and Hashan Tillakaratne playing cool knocks to guide them home.

1996, 1st semi-final, Kolkata

An erupting Eden Gardens and a tearful Vinod Kambli might be the lasting images of this ill-fated game, but before matters deteriorated to that extent, Sri Lanka had thoroughly outplayed India on a pitch that had become almost unplayable. Stung by a six-wicket defeat to the same opponents earlier in the tournament, India fielded first, but Aravinda de Silva did not let the score of 1 for 2 bother him. The impact of his silken 66 was such that it lifted Sri Lanka to 251. Sachin Tendulkar responded with 65 but his dismissal triggered a dramatic collapse. India plummeted from 98 for 1 to 120 for 8 as the Sri Lankan spinners bowled more than one established batsman behind the legs. Eden Gardens could watch it no longer and flared up in a volley of missiles and bonfires, forcing match referee Clive Lloyd to award the match to Sri Lanka.

1999, league match, Taunton

Taunton could not quite have been payback for Kolkata, but India nevertheless sent the defending champions out of the tournament with a batting assault that saw them rattle up 373, which was then the highest total against a Test nation. In a year in which he made six of his 12 one-day hundreds, and was involved in both the 300-plus ODI partnerships, Rahul Dravid began uncharacteristically with a flurry of boundaries along with Sourav Ganguly.

Sri Lanka had taken a wicket off the fifth ball of the game; they had to wait another 269 before the second one came, when Dravid was finally run out for 145. Ganguly accelerated with seven sixes to 183, and Sri Lanka were so stunned that they lurched to 216, giving Robin Singh only his second five-wicket haul in 136 games.


Rahul Dravid stands alone as the Indian innings falls apart around him, India v Sri Lanka, Group B, Trinidad, March 23, 2007
When it all came crashing down for India in Port of Spain in 2007 © Getty Images
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2003, Super Six match, Johannesburg

It was the match that confirmed India's place in the semi-final, and, in many ways, it was the one that turned hopes of a successful campaign into genuine belief that this was a side that could go all the way. India's bowling had been sensational against England; and against Pakistan, the batting had chased a challenging score. In Johannesburg, they put in the complete performance. Sachin Tendulkar, who had been in commanding form all tournament, scored 97, and contributions from Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly ensured India got 292; all this after Sanath Jayasuriya had oddly chosen to bowl despite Sri Lanka having struggled while chasing, even having lost to Kenya in pursuit of 210. They were done in by a magical spell of 4 for 35 from an older, slower, but considerably craftier Javagal Srinath. There were more strange decisions from Sri Lanka as Jehan Mubarak turned up as a pinch-hitter at No. 3, and they were bowled out for a paltry 109 in 23 overs.

2007, league match, Port of Spain

India were dumped out of the World Cup after their 69-run loss in the game, and it was to have severe consequences as interest in the tournament dwindled and the organisers of the current edition plotted to avert a repeat. But this was also a match in which a fresh-looking Sri Lanka gave a glimpse of how impressive they would be through the tournament. It was the young guns who fired, with Upul Tharanga and Chamara Silva getting fifties to take Sri Lanka to 254. India's batting then crumbled to 185 all out under the pressure of an impending exit, a stifling early spell from Chaminda Vaas, and an at-times unplayable Muttiah Muralitharan. The doosras, topspinners, and everything else were on display in Muralitharan's spell of 3 for 41, during which he trapped MS Dhoni so plumb the batsman started walking even before the umpire raised the finger.

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 29 
Posted by   on (April 2, 2011, 14:49 GMT)

The way the match has gone it is advantage Sri Lanka. all depends onthis pair.No doubt the last worldcup match for 2 of the greatest playe ever. very difficult to break their record. See what happens. 6 overs of Malinga with old ball is too much, particularly in the finals with run rate of more than 5.6 required

Posted by   on (April 2, 2011, 2:14 GMT)

Hopefully this tournment is one of the best in world cup history..bt the shame thing the ICC announces is they opted out the associates from WC who really disappointed the development of cricket in Associate nations...As being a regular reviewer of cricket I think that this tournament will me remembered as one of the worst foe the globalisation of game...ICC along with BCCI,are the bodies who just looks for the money rather than development of cricket...

Posted by ian_ghose on (April 2, 2011, 1:17 GMT)

It serves the purpose of the India-centric media to hype up India's chances, but when it comes to head-to-head in World Cups and in tournament finals, Sri Lanka are ahead by yards, if not miles.

Posted by Vibrant_Patel on (April 1, 2011, 22:18 GMT)

In 2007.... Ind exit the WC after loss to BD & SL...!! Sehwag already crush BD in WC opener... & SL will see that in WC Finale..!!! INDIA will be WC Winner...!!! Sehwag will be MoM...!!!

Posted by DanfromCanada on (April 1, 2011, 21:25 GMT)

What a World Cup? No team is unbeaten. Yet the best two clash for the Cup. GO SRI LANKA GO...!!!

Posted by Sautrik on (April 1, 2011, 20:00 GMT)

good luck both teams. as an Indian fan, obviously want india to win, but sri lanka r gonna be a good challenge... expecting a very close match. i always knew these two wer gonna be in the finals, no matter what the semis wer

Posted by afker007 on (April 1, 2011, 17:42 GMT)

As a Sri Lankan fan I must admit we are up against the best team and whether we win or lose I will not worry much about it as I know we did our best to reach the final. It will be a sad day to see to both Murali and Sachin play there last game and I am certainly going to miss the little master and the wiley old fox. May the best team win and its going be an anxious wait until the Final over.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2011, 17:23 GMT)

Both Sachin and Murali stand for their country and for their sweet memories they would like to carry with for life we should wish them first and then look for country,as they have spend their golden years of life to entertain us.wish them all the best.For country it is rest of the team from both ends to do best and win.Hope to have a fantastic feast for our eyes to witness.....ALL THE BEST INDIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by fataquie on (April 1, 2011, 16:56 GMT)

This final is really ironic! It will be extreme joy and extreme sorrow/tears for either of the two greatest players the world has ever seen: Tendulkar and Murali!

As a Pakistani, it is difficult to choose one from the other: both have tons of records, legends in Asia and the world, and top it all, both very humble.

The final will do an India-Pakistan all over again: joy for one neighbor, sorrow for the other!

Cricket! What a game!

Posted by   on (April 1, 2011, 15:31 GMT)

It is India's turn to lift the cup this time and well deserved too!

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