Final, India v Sri Lanka

Asia Cup 2008

At Karachi, July 6, 2008 (day/night). Sri Lanka won by 100 runs. Toss: India.


Ajantha Mendis receives the Man-of-the-Series award from Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, India v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup final, Karachi, July 6, 2008
India had no answers to Ajantha Mendis' variations © AFP
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Tour and tournament reports : Asia Cup 2008
Players/Officials: Sanath Jayasuriya | Ajantha Mendis
Teams: India | Sri Lanka

It takes a lot to upstage Sanath Jayasuriya in full flight, but even his 27th one-day century - he hit nine fours and five sixes in all, and rescued Sri Lanka from the perils of 66 for four - was almost forgotten as India's batsmen, legendarily good players of spin, were utterly bamboozled by Ajantha Mendis. He unveiled a beguiling mixture of leg-breaks, off-breaks and his own copyright "carrom" delivery, flicked out by a finger curled under the ball (the name comes from an Indian table-top game in which players use a similar flicking technique), to take six for 13, the ninthbest figures in one-day internationals.

Mendis had been rested for the earlier game against the Indians, a decision which paid off spectacularly. Sehwag, after galloping to 60 from 36 balls with 12 fours, was stranded by his second delivery, then Yuvraj Singh was castled by a straight one two balls later. Raina tried to pull and missed, Rohit Sharma played across the line, and Mendis's nap hand was completed when Pathan edged to slip. Then R. P. Singh missed the next ball, which fizzed in to him and took off stump; Pragyan Ojha survived a huge lbw appeal from the hat-trick ball (the replays suggested umpire Taufel was having as much trouble reading Mendis as the batsmen) but by then the match was settled, and a legend was launched.

Man of the Match: B. A. W. Mendis. Man of the Series: B. A. W. Mendis.

© John Wisden & Co.