Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Sri Lanka crush India by 161 runs in Celkon Mobile Cup.

Sent into bat, Sri Lanka first rode on Tharanga's 174 and Mahela Jayawardene's 107 to pile up a mammoth 348 for one and then shot out the Indians for a paltry 187 in 44.5 overs.

Apart from Tharanga and Jayawardene, skipper Angelo Mathews made a quick-fire 44.

The Indians looked a pale shadow of themselves with Ravindra Jadeja top-scoring with an unbeaten 49 followed by Suresh Raina (33), Murali Vijay (30), Shikhar Dhawan (24) and Dinesh Karthik (22).

Chasing the imposing total, India piled up pressure on themselves by scoring just 28 runs for the loss of one wicket in the first 10 overs.

Rohit Sharma was the first to depart, caught by Mathews at short midwicket off Nuwan Kulasekara's bowling.

With a mountain to chase, the Indians found boundaries hard to come by as they dealt mostly in singles and twos.

The ever-climbing asking rate took a tool on the Indians as they lost Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli in successive overs.

While trying to break the shackles Dhawan found out Tharanga at deep midwicket off Rangana Herath (3/37), Kohli hooked a Mathews delivery straight to Lasith Malinga at fine-leg in the next over.

Malinga then went through Vijay's defence two overs later as India slumped to 70 for four after the end of 19 overs.

Wicket-keeper Karthik and Raina added 53 runs off 63 balls for the fifth wicket before the former perished, stumped by Kumar Sangakkara off Herath in the 29th over.

Raina tried hard to get India back on track with a run-a-ball 33 but fell victim of a run out.

Thereafter, the Indian innings fell apart as none other batsmen managed doubled digit scores with only Jadeja showing some teeth before the disciplined Sri Lankan bowling attack.

This is India's second defeat in the tournament after having lost to West Indies by one wicket in their tournament opener.

Earlier, Tharanga smashed a career-best unbeaten 174, while Jayawardene made 107 as Sri Lanka produced a dominant batting display to post an imposing 348 for one.

Tharanga scored his runs off just 159 deliveries with the help of 19 boundaries and three hits over the fence.

Jayawardene, on the other hand, faced 112 balls during his century knock. He hit nine fours and two sixes during his innings.

Towards the end, captain Mathews played a 29-ball 49-run cameo to help Sri Lanka get near the 350-run mark. He struck fours boundaries and one six in the process.

Sent into bat, Sri Lanka made a quiet start to their innings before Jayawardene and Tharanga opened up.

Jayawardene and Tharanga mixed caution with aggression to pile up 47 runs in the first 10 overs.

Shami Ahmed, who replaced Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Umesh Yadav failed to derive any assistance from the low and slow Sabina Park wicket as the Sri Lankan opening duo milked the Indian attack to surge ahead.

Jayawardene, who was dropped by Vijay off Jadeja at the personal score of 25, cashed in on the chance and played sensibly thereafter to reach his fifty in 60 balls with the help of four boundaries and one six.

Tharanga, on the other hand, played second fiddle initially and reached his fifty in 76 balls during which he struck five hits to the fence.

Nothing seemed to have worked in favour India captain Virat Kohli, who is leading the side in place of injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, as his bowling changes came a cropper against the Sri Lankans.

Kohli, who will captain India in the remainder of the tournament after Dhoni has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury, found the going tough as none of his bowlers managed to produce result till the 39th over of the innings.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin finally managed to break the deadlock when he dismissed the dangerous-looking Jayawardene but not before the batsman had scored 107 off 112 balls with the help of nine boundaries and two sixes.

Jayawardene was caught by a diving Yadav at short third man after the batsman went for reverse sweep.

Tharanga, however, went about his business in a quiet fashion and notched up his century in 124 balls during which he hit 11 boundaries.

After Jayawardene's dismissal, Tharanga took the lead and in skipper Mathews' company he blossomed to take Sri Lanka forward.

The duo of Tharanga and Mathews pressed on the gas and registered their 50-run stand in just 27 balls.

Jadeja, who was the bowler of the tournament in the ICC Champions Trophy, came in for some harsh treatment as Tharanga and Mathews hit the left-arm spinner for a six each to pile up 15 runs in the 44th over.

Tharanga and Mathews took the ordinary-looking Indian attack for a task and struck boundaries and sixes at will to pile a whopping 124 runs off the last 10 overs.

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