India maintains winning run in style

Published : 9:55 am  September 1, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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Fourth ODI at R. Premadasa Stadium

Sharma and KOhli hammer centuries 


cvdtdBy Shehan Daniel 

Sri Lanka crashed to another humiliating 168-run defeat in the fourth ODI against India at a half-empty R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday. 

Centuries from Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma had given Sri Lanka a target of 376 in what would have been a record chase.

But a solitary half-century from Angelo Mathews was all the hosts could muster and they were bowled out in the 43rd over, with the batsmen guilty of throwing their wickets. 

Sri Lanka were 37 for three by the end of their eighth over after Niroshan Dickwella and Dilshan Munaweera were dismissed in similar fashion while attempting to play at a ball going down the leg side, only to glove to keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. 

Both batsmen were originally given not out but the decisions were reversed after India made excellent use of their reviews. 

In between Kusal Mendis misjudged a run and was run out for one. 

A partnership of 31 between Lahiru Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews had given Sri Lanka some direction but Thirimanne followed up his only six with a swipe to the fielder at deep cover point. 

Mathews then put on 73 runs for the fifth wicket with Milinda Siriwardana, which came in just 74 balls, before Siriwardana was also caught behind for 39. 

Wanidu Hasaranga scored a run-a-ball 22, with two boundaries and a six before he was run out in the 34th over, with Mathews top edging a catch to short third-man four overs later. 

Sri Lanka lost their last three wickets for 17 runs and they were eventually bowled out four overs later. 

The hosts had stacked their deck with spinners – Wanidu Hasaranga and Malinda Pushpakumara replacing Chamara Kapugedera and Dushmantha Chameera. 

With Akila Dananjaya and Milinda Siriwardana also in the side stand-in Captain Lasith Malinga shuffled through it quickly, utilising six bowlers in the first 13 overs alone. 

It didn’t yield much success, besides the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan in the second over. 

The next wicket fell 27 overs later, and in that passage of play India had scored 219 runs – 131 of those scored by Kohli, in an absolute blitz against some pretty ordinary bowling – with a target in excess of 400 seeming well within the realm of possibilities. 

cvdtdAfter taking eight balls to score his first three runs, Kohli struck three consecutive boundaries in the fourth over, not looking back from there, and added another 14 boundaries and two sixes – with no shortage of whips, skips and drives – to reach his 29th ODI century in just 78 deliveries, inside the first 25 overs. 

So domineering was Kohli that Rohit Sharma, who had been particularly aggressive in the last two ODIs, played second fiddle, easing past his century – the 13th – in 85 balls. 

He was dismissed in the only fashion that seemed possible at that stage, an error by his own hand, slashing at a Malinga delivery well-outside off-stump which flew to the fielder at the cover point boundary midway through the 30th over, giving the Sri Lankan fast-bowler his 300th ODI wicket, 

India’s march was stalled momentarily by the loss of four more wickets over the next eight overs.

Two of them came in Mathews’ fourth over but Manish Pandey and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, playing his 300th ODI, put on a 101-partnership batting out the last 12 overs to see their team to 375 for five Sri Lanka were guilty of several misfields and dropped two easy catches – Hardik Pandya in the 35th over, and Dhoni in the 48th over. 






Pix by Damith Wickremasinghe