| GEO Sports|
| Sri Lanka beat India convincingly to retain Asia Cup title|
| Updated at: 2336 PST, Sunday, July 06, 2008|
KARACHI: Defending champions Sri Lanka succeeded in retaining the Asia Cup title, defeating India by a convincing margin of 100 runs in the final here at the National Stadium on Sunday.
Sri Lanka won the championship for the fourth time, second in a row, after winning in 2004.
However, this is for the first time that they won the Asia Cup outside their country.
Chasing 274 runs to win, favourites India could not maintain their form which they have been displaying in the tournament and were dismissed for 173 in 39.3 overs.
Except opener Virender Sehwag and captain Mahender Singh Dhoni, no other batsman could resist the guile of slow-medium-pacer Ajantha Mendis and suffered from a humiliating defeat.
Sehwag smashed 60 off 36 balls with 12 fours while Dhoni played a cautious innings of 49 from 74 balls with four boundaries.
Mendis destroyed the Indian batting powerhouse by capturing six wickets for only 13 runs from eight overs, an Asia Cup record previously held by Pakistanís Aaqib Javed who claimed five for 19 against India at Sharjah in 1995.
He was supported by seamer Chaminda Vaas (2-55), Muttiah Muralitharan (1-26) and Kulasekera (1-26).
Earlier, Sanatah Jayasuriya notched a swashbuckling hundred to lead a Sri Lankan recovery and help them reach 273.
The dashing left-hander scored 125 after the defending champions had looked in trouble at 66-4, with paceman Ishant Sharma destroying the top order after they were sent in to bat by India.
Reaching his 27th ODI hundred and the sixth against India, Jayasuriya became the second highest century-maker in One-day International cricket behind India's Sachin Tendulkar, who has 42. He overtook Australiaís Ricky Ponting who made 26 ODI hundreds.
The 39-year-old, recalled for this tournament after being dropped for the West Indies tour in April, added an invaluable 131 runs for the fifth wicket with Tillakaratne Dilshan (56) after Sharma threatened a run through.
The 19-year-old Sharma dismissed Mahela Jayawardene (11), Chamara Kapugedera (five) and Chamara Silva (nought) in an incisive seven over spell after Sri Lanka lost opener Kumar Sangakkara run out for four in only the second over.
Jayasuriya took up the fight, with impressive hitting that included nine boundaries and five sixes during his 114-ball knock.
He clouted Sharma over mid-wicket boundary to bring up his half-century off 43 balls and then cut loose, hitting paceman Rudra Pratap Singh for three sixes and two boundaries to take 26 in an over.
Jayasuriya flicked off-spinner Virendar Sehwag for a single to reach a magnificent hundred off 79-balls.
He was finally dismissed after sweeping Sehwag straight into the hands of Ishant Sharma at mid-wicket.
Dilshan smashed all of his three boundaries in one Irfan Pathan over before the paceman dismissed him hooking in the 39th over.
Sharma finished with 3-52 while Singh took 3-67.
Sri Lanka brought in Chaminda Vaas and spinner Ajantha Mendis who were rested in the Super League match defeat against India on Thursday.
India left out paceman Praveen Kumar to include a seventh batsman in Robin Uthappa, leaving them with only four regular bowlers.
Geo Super has showed the match live from the National Stadium, Karachi.