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India beat Sri Lanka by an innings to top Test rankings

Third Test, Mumbai, day five:
India 726-9 declared beat Sri Lanka 393 and 309 by an innings and 24 runs
Match scorecard

India celebrate victory over Sri Lanka
India fought back to clinch the series after drawing the first Test

India have become the world's top-ranked Test team for the first time after beating Sri Lanka in the third Test by an innings and 24 runs.

Sri Lanka, resuming on 274-6, were bowled out for 309 as Zaheer Khan took three of the final four wickets.

The 2-0 series win moves India above South Africa in the International Cricket Council's Test rankings.

"I would not hesitate to say this is the best team I have ever played with," said India star Sachin Tendulkar.

"If you look at the batting line-up, right from the number one batsman to the number seven batsman which is Mahendra Singh Dhoni, it's a solid line-up."

Needing 60 runs to make India bat again, Sri Lanka lost Kumar Sangakkara caught behind off Zaheer in the fifth day's opening over.

The real task starts now because we have maintain the level of performance and the team spirit

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Virender Sehwag, named man of the match and man of the series having set up victory with a blistering innings of 293, added: "I'm very lucky to be a part of this team and I hope we stay at the number one spot for a long time to come."

Zaheer then dismissed Rangana Herath (three) and overnight batsman Nuwan Kulasekara (19) to finish with figures of 5-72.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh had Muttiah Muralitharan caught behind for 14 as India wrapped up the tail in fewer than eight overs.

Victory in the third Test came after an India fightback secured a draw following a first-innings collapse in the first Test in Ahmedabad.

ICC TEST RANKINGS
As at 6 December 2009
1. India (rating: 124)
2. South Africa (122)
3. Australia (116)
4. Sri Lanka (115)
5. England (105)
6. Pakistan (84)
7. New Zealand (80)
8. West Indies (76)
9. Bangladesh (13)

They then beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 144 runs in the second Test in Kanpur - India's highest ever margin of victory over their opponents.

"It is a tough ask to get to be the number one team in the world especially in Test cricket and we have got there through an all-round team effort," said captain Dhoni.

"But the real task starts now because we have maintain the level of performance and the team spirit."

Tendulkar, who brushed aside questions about his retirement, added: "It's been a long wait and I'm extremely delighted.

"I think the process of getting to the number one spot really started when (coach) Gary Kirsten and Paddy Upton took over, along with Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh.

"The aim of the whole team then was to get to be the top in the world. All credit to Kirsten, he handled the team brilliantly and credit also to the other players who have been a part of this team over the last 18-20 months."

Sri Lanka captain Sangakkara said he had known his side faced a "tough series", but admitted India had outplayed them.

606: DEBATE
80mph

"The Indian team outperformed us in every aspect of the game, especially in the last two matches," said Sangakkara.

"They continued to pile the pressure on us, but we couldn't do the same to them. "We won the toss, we put almost 400 runs on the board, but then Sehwag took the game away from us.

"The advantage was wholly with them once they got 700 plus on the board. The guys have fought hard throughout the series and we did all that we could but it wasn't enough."



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see also
India close in on series victory
05 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Dhoni leads India to record score
04 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Superb Sehwag hits double hundred
03 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Dilshan ton gives Sri Lanka hope
02 Dec 09 |  Cricket
India spinners seal emphatic win
27 Nov 09 |  Cricket
Sri Lanka in India 2009
28 Nov 09 |  Cricket


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