Sri Lanka had put up a big total, but they still needed early strikes to thwart India's experienced top order. Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were playing in the same side in a one-dayer for the first time since the World Cup final. In that match Kulasekara had gone wicketless and conceded 64 runs in 8.2 overs. This time, he took three wickets, including Tendulkar and Gambhir's, and bowled nine overs for just 40 runs.
Kulasekara got the new ball to swing, and kept Tendulkar guessing by getting some deliveries to nip in and some to move away. Tendulkar was a little late in deciding to leave a good length delivery and edged it onto his stumps. Kulasekara then dismissed Gambhir, who had two 90s in his last three innings. Gambhir tried to disrupt the bowler's rhythm by walking down the pitch, but Kulasekara maintained his off-stump line and good length, and Gambhir could only dab to gully.
It was clearly Kulasekara's day. He was presented with two fairly straightforward catches, and took them both to dismiss Sehwag and Virat Kohli. He even got a wicket with a wide full toss when Ravindra Jadeja bottom edged onto his stumps while attempting a swipe to the leg side.