ICC CT 2017: Rampant Sri Lanka destroys Indian bowling, wins by 7 wickets
London: Sri Lanka pulled out a historic 7-wicket win with 8 balls remaining against an upbeat India in the Group B encounter of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 being played at the Kennington Oval ground here on Thursday.
This was the first time in the history of Champions Trophy when a score as big as 321 was chased down successfully. Interestingly, Sri Lanka had last chased a 300-plus target more than a decade ago in 2006.
Coming in to chase a huge target of 322 runs, Sri Lanka lost Niroshan Dickwella went back early at the individual score of 7 runs off 18 deliveries. Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis, however, uplifted the team’s morale and brought them right back in the contest with a 159-run partnership for the second wicket at a phenomenal run state of 6.86.
Both the batsmen, Gunathilaka (76 off 72, 7 fours, 2 sixes) and Mendis (89 off 93, 11 fours, 1 six), unfortunately got run out, but the upcoming batsmen did not let their team down and maintained the momentum in favour of Sri Lanka. Kusal Mendis was also named man of the match for his brilliant inning.
Kusal Perera also played a crucial knock of 47 runs off 44 balls with 5 boundaries before getting retired hurt and getting back to the pavilion. Skipper Angelo Mathews, who came back in the squad after recovering from an injury, played a match-winning 52-run unbeaten inning and laced it with 6 flourishing fours.
Asela Gunaratne played a belligerent cameo of 34 runs off only 21 deliveries hitting 2 fours and 2 sixes to ensure his team remains in the contention for the semifinal berth in the tournament.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the only successful bowler for India today as he bagged the wicket of Dickwella, but went for 54 runs in his 10 overs. Umesh Yadav conceded 67 runs in 9.4 overs, while Jasprit Bumrah gave away 52 runs in his 10 overs. Hardik Pandya, though bowled a maiden over, but spent 51 runs in his 7 overs.
Ravindra Jadeja, who has been among the most successful bowlers for India in the recent past, failed to concede the Lankan batsmen today and conceded 52 runs in just 6 overs. Kedar Jadhav also bowled three overs for 18 runs while captain Virat Kohli gave 17 runs in his 3 overs.
It must be mentioned that India would be ruing some poor fielding and some tough yet missed chances on the field apart from desperately missing its star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. The fielders, however, brought India back in the match by two back to back run outs but it eventually did not turn out to be enough to stop a rampant Sri Lanka from registering an emphatic win.
Earlier, riding on a splendid hundred by Shikhar Dhawan, India posted a huge score of 321/6. Dhawan scored 125 runs off 128 balls hitting 15 flourishing fours and a six, while his opening partner Rohit Sharma also played a dominating inning off 78 runs. He took 79 balls and laced his knock with 6 fours and 3 sixes before getting out.
The duo added very crucial 138 runs for the first wicket. Skipper Virat Kohli failed to capitalise on a great platform giving by the openers and went for a duck off five deliveries. Yuvraj Singh, who scored a match-changing half-century in the previous match against Pakistan, failed this time as he could only score 7 runs off 15 deliveries.
MS Dhoni, however, showed his excellence today scoring an amazing half-century and also adding 82 runs with Dhawan for the 4th wicket. Dhoni got out after scoring 63 runs off only 52 balls with the help of 7 fours and 2 sixes. Hardik Pandya scored 9 runs off 5 balls with 1 six. Kedar Jadhav also played a belligerent inning of 25* runs off 13 balls hitting 3 fours and a six.
For Sri Lanka, Lasith Malinga was the pick of the bowlers bagging two wickets but went for 70 runs in his 10 overs. Suranga Lakmal (1/72), Nuwan Pradeep (1/73), Asela Gunaratne (1/7) and Thisara Perera (1/54) also bagged one wicket each in their respective spells.
With this win, the Group B has become wide open for all the contestants as both the upcoming matches have become knock-outs (India vs South Africa on June 11) and (Sri Lanka vs Pakistan June 12).