India winning the toss and batting first finished on 307 for 6 off 50 overs. Sri Lanka in their reply were bowled out for 301 in the final over after being at one stage set on course for victory when Aravinda de Silva was in full flow despite being handicapped by an injured leg.
De Silva scored 105 off 94 balls with 10 fours, his 11th one-day century, but with his dismissal at 272 for 5 in the 44th over, Sri Lanka's innings collapsed in a heap to lose the latter half of wickets for just 29 runs in six overs. De Silva with a consistent performance throughout the tournament took the Man of the Series award.
Ajit Agarkar struck vital blows whenever he was called up and put a brake on the Sri Lankan scoring rate at crucial periods of the game.
Tendulkar picked the Man of the Match hit an immaculate 128 off 131 balls with two sixes and eight fours to reach his 17th hundred in one-day internationals and equal the world record of Desmond Haynes. The former West Indies opener scored his centuries in 238 matches, while Tendulkar required only 196 matches.
The former Indian captain also passed 7,000 runs during his knock reaching the milestone with his 59th run to join Haynes, Mohammad Azharuddin, Aravinda de Silva and Javed Miandad in the elusive club.
The stand between Ganguly and Tendulkar erased the previous best of 225 for the first wicket between Kenyan pair Dipak Chudasama and Kennedy Otieno against Bangladesh at Nairobi in 1997-98.
The stand was ended by left-arm spinner Sanath Jayasuriya who tempted Tendulkar to come down the wicket and have him stumped by Romesh Kaluwitharana. The decision was given by the third umpire.
Ganguly left at the same score, a ball later when he got a leading edge to a delivery from off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan and offered the bowler an easy return catch. The left-hander scored 109, his fourth century off 136 balls with two sixes and six fours.
India also lost Azharuddin cheaply when he was bowled off his pads for five by Upul Chandana, but Ajay Jadeja and Robin Singh with some lusty blows and fast running between the wickets ensured India set Sri Lanka a target in excess of 300-runs to chase under lights.