Champions Trophy 2017: Sri Lanka Stun India To Blow Group B Wide Open
- Sri Lanka defeated India by 7 wickets
- This was Sri Lanka’s first win against India in 6 matches
- All 4 teams in Group B are on 3 points
Underdogs Sri Lanka shocked India as they chased down 322 runs comfortably with 7 wickets left at The Oval. It was a masterful batting performance, full of skill, personality and superb shots that saw Sri Lanka equal their biggest ever run chase in an ODI.Given almost no chance before the match, a young and exuberant Sri Lankan team showed the world that it has arrived on the world’s biggest stage.
Having won the toss Sri Lanka put India in to bat on a batting friendly wicket. The Indian openers made the most of the batting friendly conditions notching up an opening partnership of 138 runs. Losing Rohit Sharma(78) and Virat Kohli(0) in quick succession the Indian innings was held together by Shikar Dhawan who brought up his 10th ODI hundred and went on to score a magnificent 125.M.S Dhoni played a quickfire and entertaining innings at the end to ensure that India set up a huge total of 321 runs.
The target did not seem to be a determent for the Sri Lankan team who despite losing an early wicket batted beautifully. Chasing the mammoth total Sri Lanka’s young guns Gunathilaka and Mendis put on a magnificent 159-run stand in just 23.1 overs.Despite all bowling changes and even bringing himself on to bowl the Indian captain looked clueless on how to break the Sri Lankan partnership. India then got a lucky break as a superb work of wicket keeping from Dhoni run out Gunathilaka. This, however, did not stop the Sri Lankan batsman from continuing their hard hitting and knocks from Angelo Mathews and Perera saw Sri Lanka edge closer to the target. Gunaratne coming off in a pressure situation after Perera retired hurt hit some stunners to ensure that Sri Lanka chased down the target with ease in just 48.4 overs.
Kusal Mendis was declared the man of the match for his impressive knock of 89 runs that helped ensure Sri Lanka see through one of their best chases.
Angelo Mathews: “It’s one of the top wins, to beat India. It was a fantastic wicket. The bowlers did brilliantly to restrict India to 321. It’s a very chase-able target.”
Virat Kohli: “We felt we had enough on the board, we trusted out bowlers, but Sri Lanka were pretty good. They kept the momentum through the innings, they picked their areas to hit and executed really well.
The result means that any of the 4 teams from Group B can qualify for the semi-finals now. The winner of India vs. South Africa (June 11), Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka (June 12) will enter semis making both these matches virtual quarterfinals.
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