India was favorite through more than half the match, even in the early overs of the chase. Forging a target of 322 for Sri Lanka, Indian batsmen emerged on the heavier side of the match. This showdown went although the way, until Sri Lankan top order refused to calm down their momentum. India’s selection of bowlers went all haywire being ripped apart in those partnership innings of Sri Lanka’s top batting order. It went to the point, such that, Indian Captain Virat Kohli came up to deliver three overs, to change the pace, but with absolutely no avail.
Unplaying Ashwin and leaving out Yuvraj Singh from the bowling equation might have taken a dig on the team. However, the captain seemed to have unfazed with the defeat as he is a real believer of “anything can happen in cricket.” After the match, he acknowledged Sri Lankan batsmen for their batting but also backed his bowlers.
India lost to Sri Lanka by 7 wickets with eight balls remaining. The bolstered inning of 320 plus runs came out as a cake walk for Sri Lanka. While India bowlers scrambled to the highest successful chase in the tournaments history. India’s success in the chase remained limited to Niroshan Dickwella’s wicket in the fifth over.
The second wicket partnership between Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis bringing 159 was enough to take the frill off India’s squad. Mendis’ 89 and Gunathilaka’s 76 were the foundation of the victory together with the strike from Kusal Perera and Angelo Mathews. Finally, it was the captain, who scored the winning runs with Asela Gunaratne, taking the match away from in the pre-ultimate over. For Mathews, it was all most a comeback since his last ODI in August last year.
Earlier in the inning, India batted well enough to remain as the favorite until the Sri Lanka blitz. The opening partnership between Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan hauled the score to 138 runs to half the inning. The outlast off MS Dhoni cracking 63 off 52 added further impetus to the inning. Sharma scored 78 and Dhawan smashed a century of 125 runs. The loss despite these figures only outlined the fact that India’s score was not enough and Kohli’s duck had an impact apart from the decision not to play Ashwin.
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