India vs Sri Lanka | Rohit, Kohli guide India to a remarkable 168-run victory

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India vs Sri Lanka | Rohit, Kohli guide India to a remarkable 168-run victory

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SportsCafe Desk


Indian bowlers complemented the valiant efforts of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to dismiss Sri Lanka for a paltry 207 runs to hand India a fantastic 168-run victory. Earlier, both Sharma and Kohli hit centuries to give India a great start before MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey helped them reach 375/5.

Brief scores: India 375/5 (Virat Kohli 131, Rohit Sharma 104; Angelo Mathews 2/24) beat Sri Lanka 207 (Angelo Mathews 70; Kuldeep Yadav 31/2) by 168 runs

Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first handing Shardul Thakur his first ODI cap and he also brought in Kuldeep Yadav and Manish Pandey in the playing XI in the place of Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. On the other hand, Sri Lanka gave entry to two new faces Dilshan Munaweera and Malinda Pushpakumara while Wanidu Hasaranga also made his way for the fourth ODI.

Kohli, Rohit catch Sri Lanka off guard

Sri Lankan skipper Lasith Malinga opened the bowling for the hosts but it was Vishwa Fernando who gave the first success to Sri Lanka as he sent Shikhar Dhawan packing in only the second over of the game. But Kohli targeted Fernando and sent three balls for three consecutive boundaries as the bowler conceded 13 runs. In the next six overs, Rohit Sharma and Kohli added 43 runs which helped India reach 67/1 at the end of the powerplay. Malinga again came to the attack, but failed to stop the Indian duo as Kohli brought up his 29th ODI century, which put him at the third position in the all-time list of ODI centurions, with only Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting above him. However, Rohit bided his time patiently and let his captain inflict most of the damage on the hosts. Both the batsmen kept the run-scoring tempo high and the scorecard reached 187/1 in 25 overs.

Dhoni, Pandya take India past 350 

At 225 for 1 in the 30th over, India would have set sights on a 400-plus total, and both the batsmen would have harboured the hopes of getting double hundreds. However, Sri Lanka scripted a remarkable comeback, and it came through the experience duo of Malinga and Angelo Mathews. Malinga sparked the collapse by getting Kohli caught in the deep for 131 that came off just 96 balls. Hardik Pandya, promoted to No 4, survived a drop chance before getting out for 19, while Rohit fell immediately after scoring his hundred. KL Rahul failed to live up to the expectations yet again as he was out to Akila Dhanajaya for the third straight game. MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey ensured that India went past 350 with some big hitting towards the end. The pair smashed 101 runs off 77 balls as India ended with 375.  

Sri Lanka fail to muster a good start

For Sri Lanka Munaweera opened the innings along with Niroshan Dickwella while Thakur got the chance to bowl first and conceded only three runs in the process before getting his first ODI wicket as he sent Dickwella back to the dressing room and that would have not been possible had it not because of MS Dhoni’s perfect judgment behind the stumps. It was the initiative that India were looking forward to as just after two overs, KL Rahul’s perfect direct hit sent Kusal Mendis back in the hut before Bumrah getting the better of debutants Dilshan Munaweera when the score was only 28/3. Sri Lankan players seemed unable to score runs in the front of Indian bowling attack which resulted in the required run-rate shooting up and reached over 9 at the end of 15 overs. Soon, Pandya gave the fourth breakthrough for India dismissing Thirimanne in the very next over and at the halfway mark of the innings the scorecard reached 113/4.  

India take a 4-0 lead in the series

Sri Lanka still needed 263 runs in the another 25 overs with Mathews and Siriwardana trying to resurrect the Lankan innings as they slowly and steadily added runs on the scoreboard. Kohli handed the ball to Pandya and he didn’t disappoint him as he got Siriwardana’s wicket who scored 39 runs. Then Wanindu Hasaranga came on at no. 7 who gave his full support to the experienced Mathews and at the end of the 30th over, the score reached 147/5 and the host needing 229 runs in the next 20 overs. However, Patel got the important wicket of Mathews who played patient innings of 70 runs to catch the Lankan team off guard. Mathews’ dismissal triggered the collapse and Kuldeep Yadav closed the things off dismissing Vishwa Fernando and Malinga to hand India a 4-0 series lead in advance.  

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