A serious set-back hit team Sri Lanka when India nicked the victory in the fourth ODI. Sri Lanka required to win at least the last two ODIs for a direct entry to World Cup 2019. But after India plundered their fourth consecutive victory at SSC Stadium, Colombo, the home team lost the automatic entry to the tournament. Now, its fate depends on the fifth and the last ODI of the series as well as on the upcoming fixtures of West Indies against Ireland and England. Sri Lanka's latest lost came up by 168 runs. The team could chase India's target of 375 only to 207, exhausting its batting lineup in 42.4 overs.
India Skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to bat. It was seen as an opportunity by Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga as in the last three ODIs his team was the one to bat first. With the ball, the host team even nicked the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan early, but it was the only instance when Sri Lanka players could celebrate in the match. In the next stretch, opener Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli partnered for 219 runs playing 165 balls. Kohli scored a century hammering 131 runs off just 96 balls. He was on crease till the 30th overs. He became Malinga's 300th ODI wicket.
Hardik Pandya played for a moment and was dismissed at the over from Angelo Mathews. Rohit Sharma, meanwhile plundered the next century of the inning. He scored 108 runs in 88 balls hauling the score to 262. This was a record feat for India where two players knocked centuries in the same inning. He followed Pandya after a couple of overs. Lokesh Rahul arrived at the crease and got removed without much contribution. This array of wickets was, in fact, a wobble in India's batting line up, where it lost four wickets in 49 balls. Also, in the space, the players scored 49 runs.
The wicket spree ended only when Manish Pandey had MS Dhoni as the partner. It became a usual trend in the tournament that a slog ends with Dhoni in the lineup. The players forged the last partnership stand of the inning. Pandey nicked a half century while MS Dhoni remained a single run less to another half century of the inning.
Sri Lanka's best bet was from Angelo Mathews, who scored 70 runs off 80 balls as a middle order player. The chase was stricken with wickets since the beginning and the team could never gather a momentum. However, by the mid overs, there was a considerable sign of recovery with a short cameo from Mathews, Milinda Siriwardana and Wanidi Hasaranga. This too faltered on attacks from India's defenders.
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