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SL v IND, 4th ODI Review: Agony continues for Sri Lanka as they succumb to their biggest defeat at home

Kohli and Rohit recorded attractive centuries as India crushed Sri Lanka by 168 runs.

Team India
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli (R) is congratulated by his teammate Rohit Sharma after scoring a century (100 runs) during the fourth one day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and India at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on August 31, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

It is getting from bad to worse for the Sri Lankans as they registered their biggest defeat at home in terms of runs. A clinical performance by India earned them a 168-run win after they skittled out the hosts for 207 runs. Sri Lanka failed to even bat out their full quota of overs, getting bowled out after facing just 42.4 overs.

Kohli sparkles, Rohit plays second fiddle

Indian skipper Virat Kohli won his third toss in the series but this time elected to bat first on a placid wicket at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. He backed his own decision by producing a scintillating and unchallenged hundred off just 76 balls. Such was the impact of his innings, that when Kohli was dismissed in the 30th over for a memorable 131 off 96 balls, the rest of the team managed to score 94 off 81 collectively. The 28-year old recorded his 29th ODI hundred which took him past Sanath Jayasuriya in the list of highest century scorer in ODIs. Kohli is behind only Sachin Tendulkar (49) and Ricky Ponting (30) and it will be about time when he moves to number two on that list.

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After the second consecutive early loss of Shikhar Dhawan, Kohli was involved in a big partnership with Rohit Sharma which was a visual treat for the spectators. Both produced sparkling strokes to mesmerize the viewers while tormenting the Sri Lanka attack. It seemed like Rohit Sharma started from where he left in Pallekele, registering back to back ODI hundreds which was the 13th of his career. He was eventually dismissed for 104 after having faced 88 balls and scything 11 hits to the fence and 3 maximums.

Sri Lanka peg India back, Dhoni-Pandey come to the fore

At one point, India looked like attaining a total in excess of 400 but the home side came back a wee bit in the middle overs, dismissing Hardik Pandya (19) and KL Rahul (7) cheaply. The latter was dismissed by Dananjaya for the third consecutive time and will be under pressure to keep his place for the final ODI. The duo of Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni – who was playing his 300th ODI – reconstructed the innings a wee bit and then accelerated towards the end to produce 96 runs in the last 12 overs. Both remained unbeaten at 50 and 49 respectively to lift India to 375 for 5, the highest score recorded in ODIs played in Sri Lanka.

It was strange that the best bowler on the day, Angelo Mathews, was bowled for just 6 overs. The former captain returned with wonderful figures of 2/24 as his colleagues went on a leather hunt. Young Akila Dananjaya was given some rough treatment after he had a tight lid over the Indians in the last two games. The 23-year old still did a decent job, finishing with figures of 1/68 off his quota of 10 overs.

Sri Lanka top order disappoints yet again

Niroshan Dickwella came out all guns blazing and threatened to take the attack back to the visitors. But his stay at the crease was short and after hitting three crisp boundaries, he was unlucky to get out down the leg-side off debutant Shardul Thakur. India had to take a review to claim the wicket of Dickwella and five overs later, the exact same scenario was repeated. Dhoni was sure that he heard a sound and opted to take the review on both occasions after the umpires remained unmoved. Both Dickwella and Munaweera gloved short of length deliveries for Dhoni to take a tumbling catch down the leg side as Sri Lanka were reduced to 37 for 3.

Kusal Mendis (1) and Wanindu Hasaranga (22), two highly rated players were unfortunately run out backing up too much at the non-striker’s end. The latter’s case was more of nervous energy playing its part. After hitting a four and a six, Hasaranga charged down the pitch for a non-existent single before turning back to make his ground but it was too late as Axar had deflected the ball onto the stumps. These two run outs sandwiched a fight back which was led by former skipper Mathews (70) and ably supported by Siriwardana (39). The pair added 73 runs for the fifth wicket before Siriwardana was sent on his way by Pandya.

Mathews inspires, finds little support

Mathews batted swiftly, after taking a little time initially. His 80-ball knock included 10 hits to the fence. But the fight came very late in the day as the asking run rate was hovering around 9 runs an over when the pair got together. From there on, it was a mere formality before India registered a win. Young Kuldeep Yadav, returning to the side after spending three games on the bench, took the final two wickets off consecutive balls to finish with impressive figures of 2/31. Shardul Thakur bowled well on his international debut, finishing with 1/26 off 7 overs. Bumrah, courtesy his haul of 2/32, became the highest Indian wicket taker in a bilateral India-Sri Lanka series. Pandya gave away 50 runs off 8 overs but picked up 2 wickets with his medium pace while Axar Patel had an off day as he went for 55 runs in his 10 overs, picking just a solitary wicket.

Brief Scores:

India – 375 for 5 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 133, Rohit Sharma 104, Angelo Mathews 2/24)

Sri Lanka – 207 all out in 42.4 overs (Angelo Mathews 70, Kuldeep Yadav 2/31, Jasprit Bumrah 2/32).

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