During the final of Asia Cup in 2008, Ajantha Mendis won the title for Sri Lanka on his own. Sri Lanka had defeated India by 100 runs in the final at Karachi. MS Dhoni, the then Indian captain, won the toss and elected to field first.
The Indian bowlers backed his decision as Sri Lanka was reduced to 66-4 in the 12th over. One man whom the Indian bowlers couldn’t get through was the man who made the difference, veteran Sanath Jayasuriya. He was firm at one end and went on to score his 27th ODI century, 125 (114), with the help of nine fours and five sixes.
After Jayasuriya got out in the 36th over, Tillakaratne Dilshan scored a half-century, which aided Sri Lanka to score 273-10 in 49.5 overs. Rudra Pratapa Singh and Ishant Sharma had picked up three wickets apiece.
In reply, India lost Gautam Gambhir (6) in the fifth over. Virender Sehwag’s breezy half-century was put to a halt by Ajantha Mendis. In what was just the starting, Mendis went on to pick five more wickets, denting India’s chances at regular intervals. India were eventually bundled out on 173 in 39.3 overs. Mendis registered his second ODI five-wicket haul and his best ODI figures of 8-1-13-6. He was adjourned the Player of the Match for the same.
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