Sri Lanka’s batsmen did very good this time around against India. They had a flop show against South Africa, but their batsmen stood up and performed brilliantly in this do or die game.
In this all important match, Sri Lanka won the toss and sent India to bat in an overcast conditions at Kennington Oval in London.
India’s opening pair was again solid in front of the Sri Lankan bowlers. Both Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan carried out from where they left. These two Indian openers continued their sublime form.
They were in no mood to spare any bowlers from Sri Lanka. Rohit and Dhawan recorded their 8th fifty run partnership and 10th hundred run partnership. They also added the highest runs as openers for India. Dhawan and Rohit scored 518 runs from just 6 innings. They also added most hundred in ICC One Day International tournaments; till now these two openers have added 4 hundred and 4 fifty stands with 947 runs from just 14 innings in Champions Trophy and World Cup tournaments. They also have most century stands in ODI cricket by opening pairs.
In this process, Rohit Sharma also completes his fifty and he was looking good for a hundred too. But it was experience of Lasith Malinga that got him out. Rohit was dismissed for 78 runs.
After Rohit departure, Skipper Virat Kohli came into bat. Everyone expected Kohli to repeat his heroics against Sri Lanka too. Unfortunately, the expectations turned into a shock when Kohli just faced 5 balls.The skipper then went without scoring.
Yuvraj Singh tried to steady the ship with Dhawan, but Asela Gunaratne’s magical delivery bowled Yuvi for just 7.
It was MS Dhoni and Shikhar Dhawan’s partnership that helped India to get through this situation. Their partnership was not only steadied the ship but they were scoring runs at a decent phase too.
Dhoni Dhawan shared a stand of 82 runs stands for the fourth wicket.
Dhawan’s magic continues in the Champions Trophy. He scored his another century in this tournament. He played a good hand of 128 runs for his team. trying to accelerate the scoring Dhawan gave away his wicket to that man Malinga again.
A lot was expected of Hardik Pandya but he too failed in this match. After hitting a six of a short ball, Pandya went for the repeat shot and he was out for 9 runs.
All was left for Dhoni to take India to a good total. Dhoni reached his fifty and he was looking dangerous but in the over he was caught in the deep by Chandimal for well made 63.
Kedar Jhadav hit some lusty blows towards the end, and due to that India managed to score 322 for 6 in their allotted 50 overs.
For India Dhawan’s 128, Rohit’s 78 and Dhoni’s 63 were the highest individual scores in that match.
Sri Lankan bowlers bowled some decent spells. Malinga took 2 and Lakmal, Pradeep, Perera and Gunaratne took 1 wicket each.
It was a tough ask for the inexperienced Sri Lankan batting line up, especially the form which were the Indian bowlers were in.
They started off well, their opening batsmen Niroshan Dickwella was dismissed for just 7. It was again India’s new ball bowler Bhuneshwar Kumar got this early wicket.
After the dismissal of Dickwella, it was the partnership from Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis took the game away from India.
Their 159 runs partnership brought Sri Lanka back into the match. This match winning partnership from two young Sri Lankan batsmen lasted for 23.1 overs that frustrated the Indians.
However, a run out from Umesh Yadav and MS Dhoni saw Gunathilaka’s wicket for 76 runs.
After the spam of 4 overs again it was run out that halted Sri Lanka’s progress. This time it was Kusal Mendis who was run out for 89 runs.
India had a vital breakthrough, they thought there might be an outside chance but Kusal Perera and skipper Angelo Matthews had strong minds to take their team through.
It was a poor bowling effort from India, Kusal Perera was eventually retired hurt but captain Angelo Matthews and Asela Gunaratne took Sri lanka to a memorable win against India in this do or die game.
Angelo Matthews was unbeaten on 52 and Asela Gunaratne accompanied on 34 not out.
This is Sri Lanka’s highest chase in the ICC Champions Trophy.
Sri Lanka beat India by 7 wickets and stay alive for the contention of the semi-final berth.
Kusal Mendis was awarded the man of the man for superb 89 runs knock.