The Sri Lankans have not been doing anything right in this whole series.
Even the change in captains hasn’t helped them to beat India in the 4th One Day International at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday.
After Upul Tharanga, Sri Lanka tried Chamara Kapugederaor in the 3rd ODI and Lasith Malinga for the 4th ODI, unfortunately that too didn’t work in favour of the hosts.
This is the 5th time that a team has used 3 captains in a series and this is the second time for Sri Lanka that they have used three skippers in a series. For the first time they used 3 captains was in 1998 in Asia Cup at Bangladesh.
Even Malinga couldn’t prevent Sri Lanka from losing this game by a heaviest margin.
The Sri Lankan bowlers were all over the place after India the toss and opted to bat first.
When Shikhar Dhawan was out only on 4 runs at that time one thought that hosts may get India out cheaply.
But Captain Kohli and his partner Rohit Sharma had some other ideas. They took on the Sri Lankan bowlers and played a T20 like innings in ODIs.
As Kohli’s love affair with Sri Lanka continues, he smashed his 29th ODI ton. He and Rohit Sharma shared their 3rd double hundred partnership. The partnership of 219 runs is the highest ever in ODIs for the second wicket.
This partnership of 219 runs went past unbeaten 197 run stand between Kohli and Dhawan in the 1st ODI at Dambulla.
Kohli was going strong and so as Rohit Sharma. Rohit smashed his 2nd consecutive hundred of the series. Coming fresh from his 124 not out in the 3rd ODI at Pallekele, Hit Man scored another ODI ton in this 4th ODI. This ton was Rohit’s 13th in One Day International Cricket.
Virat Kohli‘s innings of 131 runs is the highest score by any captain in Sri Lanka in ODIs. He joined Arjuna Ranatunga’s 131 not out against India at the same venue.
On his way of his 131 run knock, Virat smashed his 29 ODI ton. He went past Sri Lanka’s Opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya’s 28 ODI hundreds. Now Kohli is just 1 ton behind Ricky Pointing and 20 tons behind the great Sachin Tendulkar.
This marathon partnership between Kohli and Rohit was broken by the stand in skipper Lasith Malinga. By picking Kohli’s wicket, Malinga completes his 300 wickets in One Day Internationals.
Lasith Malinga became just the 4th Sri Lankan after Murlitharan, Chaminda Vaas and Sanath Jayasuriya to have 300 wickets in ODIs.
India again experimented with their batting order and again it was disappointing to see the experiment that failed.
This time Hardik Pandya was promoted ahead of KL Rahul and Manish Pandey. Hardik too didn’t grab this opportunity to score runs. He managed only 19 runs.
Rohit also was out in the next delivery. He departed after scoring brilliant 104 runs.
It was another game and another failure for Karnataka’s Lokesh Rahul. KL played his debut series against Zimbabwe well last year, after that he has failed to make an impression. He has not been amongst the runs. In this match also he scored only 7 runs.
After a brilliant partnership of 219 runs between the Captain and the Vice captain India had lost their way. Sri Lankan bowlers were picking the wickets regularly after Kohli’s dismissal.
Towards the end, it was master class knock by young Manish Pandey, who was brought in the place of Kedar Jhadav. Pandey justified his selection by scoring his 2nd fifty in ODIs. His unbeaten 50 run knock also allowed India to post a good total.
It was landmark game for India’s finest ODI player. MS Dhoni played his 300th One Day International for India. He just became the second wicket keeper after Kumara Sangakkara. With 297 ODI games, Dhoni has also played 3 ODIs for Asia XI in 2007.
Mahi’s 49 not out saw India through to their 50 overs. MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey shared an unbeaten stand of 101 runs, which allowed India to post a mammoth of 375 for the loss of 5 wickets in their 50 overs.
This total of 375 is the 3rd highest total in ODIs in Sri Lanka. It is only behind Pakistan’s 385 at Dambulla and Sri Lanka’s 398 against Kenya at the same venue.
MSD’s innings of 49 not out now is the most instances of remaining not out in his 300 ODIs. He went past Chaminda Vaas and Shaun Pollock, who had 72 not outs in their ODI careers. Out of 73 not outs, 42 of those have come in the 2nd innings. In this series Dhoni has scored 161 runs in 3 innings without being dismissed.
The Sri Lankan bowlers were expensive, only Angelo Mathews came good on the day. He picked up 2 wickets and just conceded 24 runs from his 6 overs. Wonder why he didn’t bowl his full quota of his 10 overs.
Malinga and Vishwa Fernando were expensive. They picked up 1 wicket each but they leaked runs as well. Akila Dananjaya was the other wicket taker of this match. He took one wicket to his name.
It was too much to ask from the Sri Lankan batsmen. The chase of 376 wasn’t an easy one because of the woeful form that Sri Lankan batsmen were in.
The openers needed to start of well but that didn’t happen, Shardul Thakur got his maiden ODI wicket when he picked Niroshan Dickwella for just 14 runs.
Then KL Rahul athletic fielding saw Kusal Mendis’s poor form once again in this series, Kusal could score only a single run.
Dishan Munaweera didn’t use his opportunity to play in place of Gunthalika. He scored only 11 runs.
A lot was expected from Lahiru Thirimane after his solid knock of 80 in the 3rd ODI, but Pandya got him for just 18 runs.
After being 68 for 4, Milinda Siriwawardane and Former Skipper Angelo Mathews got together to repair the Lankans innings.
It was a good day at the office for Angelo, with picking up 2 wickets he contributed with bat too. His 70 run knock helped Sri Lanka to get over this situation.
The 73 run partnership was good but it was not good enough to chase the mighty score of 376.
Milinda Siriwardne fought like the previous. He was dismissed for 39 runs.
Wanidu Hasaranga tried his luck with Angelo Mathews, but he could only manage 22 runs.
Few over later, the hope of Sri Lanka was completely dashed when Angelo was dismissed after his fighting 70 runs.
Then the lower middle order misery continued as India bowl out the Sri Lankans for just 207 runs in 42.4 overs.
Indian bowling department did a good job. Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav picked up 2 wickets each. Debutant Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel had 1 wicket to their name.
India won the match by 168 runs and hand Sri Lanka a heaviest defeat at home in terms of runs.
Man of the Match was skipper Kohli for his outstanding 131 run knock.
Next Match – 03rd September 2017 at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo