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Monday, June 25, 2018

India vs Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka ace India with record chase

Sri Lanka pulled off a stunning run chase to beat India by seven wickets in their second group game of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Chasing a target of 322 runs, Sri Lanka top order came to the party and finished the chase with eight balls remaining.

By: Express Web Desk | London | Updated: June 9, 2017 1:29:14 am
india vs sri lanka, ind vs sl, india vs sri lanka score, champions trophy, icc champions trophy 2017, cricket news, cricket, indian express Kusal Mendis scored 89 off 93 balls to ensure Sri Lanka beat India in Champions Trophy. (Source: Reuters)

Even rain did come to India’s rescue. On a rare ordinary day in the bowling department and the first game of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 which was not interrupted by rain, India were dominated by Sri Lanka, who completed their highest run chase in one-day internationals with a chase of 322 runs with seven wickets and eight balls remaining. With the win, Sri Lanka threw open the Group B with each team having a chance to qualify for the semi-final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in London.

Sri Lanka never looked in trouble as their put on good partnership after the first wicket fell early. Half-centuries from Danuska Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews, and late blitz from Asela Gunaratne ensured Sri Lanka take two points from the game. Kusal Perera, who retired hurt after scoring 47, set the platform for the chase in the middle overs.

India bowlers struggled to get going on a pitch that did not assist the pacers or the spinners. Bhuvneshwar Kumar provided India the early breakthrough by removing Niroshan Dickwella in the fifth over when Sri Lanka had only 11 runs on the board. That was the only wicket an Indian bowler got in the innings.

Gunathilaka and Mendis shared a 159-run stand for the second wicket off just 138 balls to keep Sri Lanka’s scoring rate at par with the asking rate. India ran out of India during the partnership with spinner Ravindra Jadeja going for nine runs from his first spell of four overs.

India managed to send Gunathilaka back but only in the 28th over when he tried to complete a tight second run but an Umesh Yadav throw from the deep caught him short. After the wicket, Mendis looked good for a century but he was run out by Bhuvneshwar when he responded to a call from Perera.

There was no success for India thereafter. Mathews and Perera steadied the innings and, after the latter retired, Gunaratne up the ante with Mathews as Sri Lanka scored 51 runs in their last five overs to complete the highest chase in the Champions Trophy history. Mathews was playing his first ODI since August.

The script was similar for India without the first wicket. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan gave another solid start to India, putting on 48 runs from the first 10 overs. They added 90 more off same number of deliveries before Rohit was dismissed off the 91st ball. He tried to chip one over fine-leg but did not get enough momentum.

Dhawan scored his 10th ODI century and third in Champions Trophy to set the platform for a big launch for India. But soon after Rohit’s wicket, Kohli fell in the next over, caught behind off Nuwan Pradeep. Yuvraj Singh could not repeat the heroics of the Pakistan game and was bowled in an unfortunate manner as the ball bounced back to hit his stumps.

MS Dhoni and Dhawan took some time to increase the scoring and India managed only 49 runs from over 31 to 40. Dhawan was dismissed for 125 before Dhoni tried to up the ante. Hardik Pandya hit a six before he was also caught on the deep. Dhoni brought up his 62nd ODI fifty and with Kedar Jadhav took India past 300.

India took 103 runs off the final 10 overs and Dhoni was the destroyer in chief as he scored 40 runs off the final 23 deliveries he faced but fell in the final over. Jadhav’s 25 off 13 ball helped India post 321/6.

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