India face nemesis in Asia Cup final

DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka - India will be looking for their first title in 15 years when they head into the Asia Cup final today against Sri Lanka, who have won the past three competitions.

DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka - India will be looking for their first title in 15 years when they head into the Asia Cup final today against Sri Lanka, who have won the past three competitions.

India last won the title in 1995 under Mohammed Azharuddin but since then they have lost three finals, all against Sri Lanka.

The final takes place in Dambulla.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the key to winning today was lowering the expectation that his side would be looking to return to the glory days of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when they won three titles in a row.

"Somehow we have not been able to win it. Maybe the performances were not good," Dhoni said. "As a cricketer you treat it as just another game. If you win that particular game, you have won the finals."

India lost to Sri Lanka in the last preliminary round match by seven wickets after resting key players like Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra.

Dhoni said his team was never in the chase after a batting collapse triggered by a sensational hat-trick by Sri Lankan seam bowler Farveez Maharoof, who finished with five wickets.

"We got the start we needed but we were not able to convert that into big scores," Dhoni said.

Sri Lanka come into the match buoyed by the recent form of Maharoof, who struggled early on against Pakistan but played well against India.

But his performance will make it difficult for the selectors to choose the seam bowlers, with Nuwan Kulasekera and Lasith Malinga also on song. - Sapa-AP

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