At Nagpur, October 25, 2005. India won by 152 runs. Toss: India. One-day international debut: S. Sreesanth.
Probably the most eagerly awaited comeback of the year was well worth the hype as Tendulkar showed he had recovered from surgery for tennis elbow. Sporting a bandage around his left arm, Tendulkar rolled back the years with a brilliant batting performance, gliding to 93 from 96 balls before edging the expensive Maharoof behind when in sight of his 39th one-day hundred. Pathan, a surprise choice at No. 3, slapped four sixes and eight fours in his 70-ball 83, then Dravid raced to 85 from only 63 balls as the total ballooned. Asked to chase 350, Sri Lanka were never in the hunt once Sangakkara departed for a breezy 43. Dravid's early introduction of spin, in the shape of Harbhajan Singh, extinguished any hopes Sri Lanka might have had of making a match of it. Harbhajan and Kartik reduced Sri Lanka to 126 for eight, and a huge defeat loomed before a ninth-wicket stand of 63 reduced the margin to merely embarrassing.
Man of the Match: R. Dravid.