It took India just 56 overs to follow up the resounding 152-run victory at Nagpur with an even more emphatic demolition job in Mohali. Having skittled out Sri Lanka for 122, Sachin Tendulkar - who made the bowlers bleed with a thrilling 67 - and Virender Sehwag then made mincemeat of the bowling to give India a two-match cushion in the seven-game series.
Tendulkar came out with punishment on his mind, as he had at Nagpur, and Sri Lanka's hapless bowlers - let down once again by an abysmal batting display - had no answers. With Sehwag also pounding out the strokes in a 38-run cameo, Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa came in for a caning as Tendulkar appeared intent on making a mockery of the world rankings that have Sri Lanka at a lofty number two. Only Muttiah Muralitharan, who had a vociferous appeal for caught behind against Tendulkar turned down right at the end, scored any brownie points, but by then it was too little and far too late.
The damaging body blows had been dealt much earlier. A cursory look at the Sri Lankan card would suggest an ordeal against pace on a juiced-up strip in Brisbane or Perth, but the demons were on the outfield - 11 sky-blue-shirted ones - rather than the pitch as India produced their most committed display in the field since the 2003 World Cup to dismantle a line-up woefully short on inspiration and effort.
Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar moved the ball around early on, and there was some wonderfully controlled seam bowling from Jai Prakash Yadav later, but India's success owed just as much to some truly wretched batting. Only Kumar Sangakkara, with a breezy 27, made any dent on the bowlers, but his dismissal to the worst shot of the innings started the slide. But for a 24-run partnership between Farveez Maharoof and Upul Chandana - the Supersub was called for, with Dilhara Fernando jettisoned - and some hit-and-giggle stuff from Murali at the end, it could have been far worse.
On a sluggish pitch that hid no malice, Rahul Dravid's decision to bowl first - prompted no doubt by the dew factor - was more than vindicated. By the 15-over mark, the Sri Lankan ship was taking water at 65 for 5, and a probing spell from Harbhajan Singh, combined with a miserly effort from Yadav, acted as a final torpedo to the hull.
The Indians were in a celebratory mood as early as the first over, when Sanath Jayasuriya had a slice at Pathan, and found no luck to go with it. And though Sangakkara got going with two superb drives through cover, the indifferent start became a poor one when Marvan Atapattu, in the middle of a fallow run with the bat, flirted fatally with an Agarkar delivery.
Mahela Jayawardene's stay was equally brief, and when Sangakkara compounded Sri Lanka's problems with a daft moment, choppy waters had become dire straits. And a delighted Pathan soon had a fourth reason to celebrate, with Tillakaratne Dilshan falling for his oldest trick, the ball that darted back in.
Arnold, reprieved on 0 when seemingly plumb lbw was turned down, struggled to 15 before an attempt to take on Harbhajan and break the shackles failed miserably. And when Vaas was sent packing by a stunning throw from Agarkar, a three-figure total appeared unlikely. Yadav and Harbhajan then mopped up brief resistance from the lower order, leaving the peerless Tendulkar to administer the knockout punch.
Sanath Jayasuriya c Sehwag b Pathan 0 (1 for 1)
Bat turned in Jayasuriya's hands as he flailed at one that moved away. Straightforward catch for Sehwag running around from third man.
Marvan Atapattu c Dhoni b Agarkar 4 (13 for 2)
Outfoxed by a slower delivery and some away movement. Edge taken low to his right by the keeper.
Mahela Jayawardene c Rao b Pathan 7 (33 for 3)
Flicks a fairly full delivery straight to square leg. Soft dismissal.
Kumar Sangakkara c Tendulkar b Pathan 27 (54 for 4)
Rush of blood to the head as Sangakkara decides to try and pull one from well outside off stump. Ballooned to the right of mid-on.
Tillakaratne Dilshan lbw Pathan 0 (54 or 5)
Trapped plumb in front by a Pathan special that swung back in.
Russel Arnold c Dravid b Harbhajan 15 (71 for 6)
Tried to flick one bowled from round the wicket. Defeated by the turn and the edge was safely pouched at slip.
Chaminda Vaas run out (Agarkar) 7 (80 for 7)
Sent back after Maharoof had played the ball to point, and a direct hit has him well short of the crease.
Farveez Maharoof c Yuvraj b Yadav 18 (104 for 8)
Bottom hand came off the handle in an effort to force the pace. Lofted straight to point.
Nuwan Zoysa lbw Yadav 0 (104 for 9)
Trapped in front by the tail-ender's worst enemy, the full swinging yorker.
Muttiah Muralitharan b Harbhajan 15 (122 all out)
Bowled trying to cut an offbreak
Virender Sehwag c and b Maharoof 38 (80 for 1)
A slower ball that had Sehwag in two minds. Tame loft back to the bowler.
Jai Prakash Yadav lbw Muralitharan 9 (115 for 2)
Trapped in front after a vain attempt to sweep the doosra.
Dileep Premachandran is features editor of Cricinfo