India chase down 321 in 36.4 overs, beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets, and will now hope Australia beat the Lankans on Friday.
This is really quite an incredible win for India. No one would have really believed they could pull it off, needing to chase down a mammoth 321 in 40 overs to keep themselves alive in the series. But they came out with a belief that has been missing throughout most of this dismal tour of Australia, and went on the attack from the start. Sachin and Sehwag got India off to a brisk start, then Gambhir and Kohli's century partnership kept the run rate going, before Kohli played the innings of a lifetime to take India home on a canter. Poor Dilshan's unbeaten 160 goes in vain!
Amid all the euphoria, though, we need to remember that India still need Australia to beat Sri Lanka in the final group match on Friday to make it to the tri-series finals. If Sri Lanka lose, both teams will be level on points and then India will go through on better head-to-head.
Meanwhile, Kohli is unsurprisingly the Man of the Match - he says it was one of his best one-day innings - while MS Dhoni - who wasn't even required to come in - says it is "some of the best ODI cricket I have been a part of." It's also been one of the best matches to watch, what an incredible chase! Well done, India!
Over No. 37: INDIA WIN BY 7 WICKETS! Fittingly, the winning runs come off Kohli's bat and two successive fours off Malinga means India reach the required total of 321 in 36.4 overs with the loss of just 3 wickets. What a match! Kohli finishes unbeaten with an outstanding 133 off 86 - mind you, he started cautiously before letting loose at the end. Raina played his part too, 40 not out off 24. By the end, they made it look easy. Sri Lanka don't know what's hit them!
Over No. 36: India can afford to take it easy now. Mathews brings some sanity back to the proceedings, and 8 runs - without any boundary - come off his over. India are 311/4 though, and are just 10 runs away from an amazing victory, and the bonus point that will keep their improbable hopes of making the tri-series final alive.
Over No. 35: This is really quite unbelievable, both the batting from Kohli and the bowling from Sri Lanka. Kohli brings up his 100 with a double off the first over, what a superb innings he's played. But then it gets better, as he tears into Malinga. The next five deliveries read 6,4,4,4,4. The last two deliveries were full tosses, Malinga has been surprisingly poor. 24 runs come off this over, Malinga has conceded 86 in his 7. India 303/3, just another 18 runs needed now. Almost there, but where on earth has this team been? Had they shown this sort of a display earlier in the series, well... Who knows!
Over No. 34: It was looking like a quiet over from Perera, but the final delivery is in the slot for Raina and he slams it way over the square leg for a big six. 14 runs off the over, India 279/3. This has been quite an amazing chase from India!
Over No. 33: The batting powerplay has now been taken. Raina, meanwhile, has definitely hit his stride. Malinga's ball is on the pads, and Raina chips it over deep backward square leg, one bounce over the ropes. A rare dot ball to end the over, but India are 265/3, Raina 24, Kohli 94. India are looking like the favourites now!
Over No. 32: The fifty partnership comes up off just 26 balls. It looks like being a good over from Thisara Perera, but Kohli picks the last delivery - a slower one - from outside off, and smashes it through the covers. 9 runs off the over, India are 257/3. As the bowling powerplay ends, India's equation comes down to 64 off 48 balls. The batting powerplay still remains.
Over No. 31: This is an even better over for India as Kulasekara concedes 18. Four off the first ball for Raina, and he survives an lbw shout off the next. Kohli then smacks three fours in succession. The bowling has been really poor these last few overs. India 248/3. 73 runs more needed. Nerves jangling yet?
Over No. 30: Terrific over for India as 15 runs come off it. Malinga may have picked up Sachin, but his yorkers haven't been up to his usual standard today. Kohli gets an easy four to start the over, Raina helps himself in the middle, before Kohli gets four leg byes down fine leg off the final ball. Malinga has conceded 54 in his 5 overs so far. 230/3, India need 91 off 10 overs to keep themselves in the series.
Over No. 28: Gambhir's run out! Sri Lanka take the bowling powerplay but the wicket comes due to a risky single, and this time Gambhir doesn't make it. It is a brilliant throw from Chandimal at deep midwicket, and Angelo Mathews has no trouble at all. Gambhir goes for a well-made 63. Kohli keeps going - as he needs to - and hits it to fine leg for four. The new man in is Suresh Raina, and he really needs to find some form now. India 208/3, need 113 off 72 balls to get that bonus point.
G Gambhir run out 63 (64)
Over No. 27: These two are taking few risks and running hard, though there have been a couple of close calls. Gambhir 62, Kohli 60, India 199/2. Remember, there are still 10 overs of powerplay to go. 122 runs needed in 13 overs to get the bonus point.
Over No. 24: Now Kohli gets his fifty. The partnership is also nearing the century mark, the best for India in the entire series so far, for any wicket. These two have kept India going despite the twin blow of Sehwag and Sachin's wickets in quick succession. Meanwhile, the final delivery from Kulasekara drifts down the leg side, and Kohli gets enough bat on it to pick up a useful four. India 184/2.
Over No. 23: Gambhir reaches his half-century and Kohli isn't far off either. Only 4 runs comes off this Rangana Herath over though, been some time since the last boundary again. India 176/2.
Over No. 20: Half-way mark as far as India's hopes of a bonus point are concerned, and they're just about half-way there. 160/2. Gambhir (44) and Kohli (40) have put together 74 runs so far. By the way, Sri Lanka haven't taken their bowling powerplay yet, so India will have 10 overs of powerplay as they chase the remaining 161 runs.
Over No. 18: Close call for Kohli there! The batsmen push for three but Kohli took off late and has to dive. The third umpire is called for, but Kohli just makes his ground. The throw could also have been better from the bowler, Thisara Perera. Still, 9 off that over. 143/2.
Over No. 17: The boundary drought ends off the last ball of the 16th over, as Kohli times one through the covers. He is the batsman at the crease again as the ball goes between him and the wicket-keeper to give India four byes off the final delivery of the next over. Much-needed boost, the run-rate was starting to dip and India can't afford that. 134/2.
Over No. 15: Things have definitely slowed down since Sachin's dismissal, but after the quick start they got, Gambhir and Kohli have time to build. Still, only 20 runs have come off the last 5 overs. They need to find the boundaries again. India 118/2. Need 203 from 35 overs, for all intent and purposes.
Over No. 12: No boundaries these two overs, but India have still made the fastest hundred of the series. 105/2, Gambhir has 23, Kohli is on 10. India need another 216 runs, and to qualify for the finals, they need it in 28 overs.
Over No. 10: Sachin out! He was looking so good, but a change of ends for Malinga does the trick. Sachin is plumb in front after he misses Malinga's yorker and he has to go for 39. Is this the last time we will see him in Australia? Is this the last time we will see him in an ODI? In any case, short as it was, it was a classic Tendulkar innings. Over to the young brigade now. Both Gambhir and Virat Kohli find the boundary and India are 97/2 after 10 overs. The chase in on.
S Tendulkar lbw b Malinga 39 (30)
Over No. 9: Now Gambhir joins the party, and three quick boundaries from him means the run-rate stays steady. They'll need to keep going though. 82/1.
Over No. 7: Sehwag raises hopes with another four off the first ball, but now he is gone! His top edge finds Dilshan at mid-on and Farveez Maharoof gets Sri Lanka the breakthrough. Tendulkar, though, is unperturbed and looking in sublime touch. Another four from him takes India to 63/1 as Gautam Gambhir joins him at the crease.
V Sehwag c Dilshan b Maharoof 30 (16)
Over No. 6: Sachin survives a run-out chance! He finds Mahela Jayawardene at cover and is sent back by Sehwag, but luckily it isn't a direct hit from the Sri Lanka skipper. India have reached their 50 without the loss of a wicket. Dare we hope? Meanwhile, word is that if the light trouble doesn't get resolved, then D/L might come into play. This could get tricky.
Over No. 5: The boundaries continue to flow, two each for Sehwag and Tendulkar. Sachin looks in good nick - as he often has on this tour - and his last four off Lasith Malinga was blasted through the covers. Sehwag, meanwhile, plunders 10 runs off the final two deliveries of the over. both in the midwicket region. India have raced away to 48/0.
Over No. 3: Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar are the men who begin India's near-impossible task, and the best news so far? India haven't lost a wicket! In fact, it's a positive start, and a couple of boundaries for Sehwag and one for Tendulkar take India to 22/0.
Sri Lanka innings:
Over No. 50: 321-run target for India in 40 overs! A terrific 160 not out by Dilshan and an equally good 105 by Sangakkara helps Sri Lanka post a mammoth 320, the biggest in the series. The two seasoned campaigners put on 200-run stand for the second wicket.
A Mathews c Ashwin b Khan 14 (10)
Over No. 46 Sanga departs! Too little, too late for India! The southpaw fell but did the job for his side. As expected, no celebrations by Praveen Kumar after cleaning up Sangakkara. Meanwhile, Thisara Perera also gets run out against the run of play. Will India chase down 300 runs in 40 overs? Phew! Too much to think!
K Sangakkara b Kumar 105 (87)
T Perera run out 3 (3)
Over No. 43: Dilshan and Sangakkara bring up their hundreds! The two experienced batsmen once again did it for Sri Lanka. While Dilshan takes 132 balls to get to his eleventh century, Sangakkara brings up his 13th ton in just 84 balls. It was Dilshan's first ton in Australia, while Sanga has hit one more before this one.
Over No. 40 Sri Lanka turning up the heat! After scoring 41 runs in the batting powerplay, Sri Lanka are looking good to score 300, with Dilshan and Sangakkara both approaching their centuries. The two seasoned campaigner also bring up the 150-run stand in just 156 balls. Sri Lanka 210/1.
Over No. 36 Sri Lanka have put their foot down in the batting powerplay, which has been taken between over no. 33 to 37. Dilshan is closing on to another landmark, his century, while Sangakkara is scoring almost run-a-ball. Sri Lanka 179/1.
Over No. 32: Now Sanga scores fifty! It's his first half-century of the series and he brings it up in just 55 balls. Sehwag though bowling according to the nature of the pitch, which is slow, he is going for plenty of runs. The duo of Dilshan and Sangakkara also brings up the 100-run partnership in 119 balls. Sri Lanka 150/1.
Over No. 28: It seems like Sri Lanka have a target in mind. A score close to 280 is not out of reach, especially if they have wickets in hand at the end. And irrespective of the target they put, India will have to chase it down in 40 overs. Sri Lanka 124/1.
Over No. 24: Fifty for Dilshan! The right-hander scores his 27th ODI half-century and second for this series. But he would have hardly taken 68 deliveries to bring up the landmark in the past. But the approach is really working for the Lankans. Sri Lanka 107/1.
Over No. 20: Sri Lanka kept in check! India have given away 22 runs in the bowling powerplay, but only one wicket is down for Sri Lanka.
Over No. 16: Dilshan is going steady! It's not the sort of Dilshan we see in every match. He has played a very subdued innings so far, which is very much unlike him. But the approach is definitely helping his team's cause. A lesson to learn for Sehwag here! Sri Lanka 66/1.
Over No. 13: Jayawardene departs! MS Dhoni's double bowling change works immediately. While Umesh Yadav troubles the batsmen with his pace, Ravindra Jadeja gets the wicket of the Sri Lankan skipper, who makes 22. Sri Lanka 50/1.
M Jayawardene c Sehwag b Jadeja 22 (33)
Over No. 11: It's the sort of start Sri Lanka were looking for, not losing a wicket in the first 10 overs and scoring at four runs per over. Sri Lanka 48/0.
Over No. 9 Still no wicket! Though India haven't picked up a wicket yet, they are maintaining pressure on the Sri Lankan openers, who are doing their job of not losing early wickets perfectly. Sri Lanka 36/0.
Over No. 6: After negotiating the early swing by the Indian bowlers, Jayawardene takes an attacking approach, coming down the track and hitting a four and a six off Zaheer. Sri Lanka 24/0.
Over No. 3 Watchful start by Sri Lanka! The Sri Lankan openers are taking time to get their eye in. Sri Lanka 9/0.
Over No. 1: Good start by Zaheer! The comeback seam bowler is right on the money from the beginning, trying to swing the ball in to the two Sri Lankan openers - Jayawardene and Dilshan. Sri Lanka 4/0.
8:25 a.m. Toss and Team News: MS Dhoni won the toss and decided to bowl first in a crucial game against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Irfan Pathan has been ruled out after an injury in the last game and his place is taken by Zaheer Khan. Rest of the team is kept same! That means, there is no place for Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are keeping the same side which has done so well for them lately.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene(c), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara(wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thissara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath
India: Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(wk/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav
8:10 a.m. Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the the tri-series match between India and Sri Lanka from the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Tuesday.
Indian team has already been pushed against the wall and it has a real task in their hands today. They not only have to register a win but also have to do it with a bonus point. Things don't stop just here. In order to progress to the best of three finals, they will also want Australia beat Sri Lanka in the last round robin match.
But will that be easy? No prizes for guessing! Whosoever has been following India's tour Down Under so far knows the fact that how tough it has been for them, who got pummeled 4-0 in the Test series.
It well could be the last match of India's tour, so there is a good chance that the untested players like Manoj Tiwary and Rahul Sharma may get a go in place of out-of-form players like Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja.