At Jaipur, October 31, 2005. India won by six wickets. Toss: Sri Lanka.
A game dominated by the two wicketkeeper-batsmen was emphatically tilted India's way by the power-hitting of 24-year-old Mahendra Singh Dhoni from Bihar. For a while, Sri Lanka held the upper hand after a beautifully paced 138 from Sangakkara. He batted through the innings, and was helped by a stroke-filled 71 from Jayawardene and a late burst from Maharoof, which lifted the total to an imposing 298. Even on a beautiful batting pitch, that would take some getting... or so went the theory. But Dhoni pulverised the target with an awesome display, easily out-scoring his partners, even the aggressive Sehwag. He smacked 15 fours and ten sixes - a record 120 in boundaries - on his way to 183 not out from 145 balls, the sixth-highest score in all one-day internationals and just three short of Tendulkar's Indian record. It was also the highest by a wicketkeeper, eclipsing Adam Gilchrist's 172 against Zimbabwe in 2003-04, and only Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi had hit more sixes (11) in an innings. Uninhibited, yet anything but crude, Dhoni's remarkable innings hustled India to victory with 23 balls to spare: fittingly, he ended the match with a six.
Man of the Match: M. S. Dhoni.