Angelo swivels into the pull
A clinical batting performance helped Sri Lanka chase down a record score in their crucial Champions Trophy match against India at the Oval. Chasing a massive 322 to win in a must-win game to keep their chances alive in the eight-national tournament, the Islanders shocked their neighbor with a seven wicket win.
Gunathilaka provided the winning platform
Sri Lanka’s remarkable run chase was set up by Kusal Mendis and Danushka Guanthilaka with a brilliant 159-run partnership for the second wicket after losing Niroshan Dickwella for seven. Mendis and Gunathilaka were both cruising smoothly setting the foundation for a crushing win before running themselves out with centuries in their sight.
Kusal Mendis top-scored with 89
They made 89 and 76 respectively while Kusal Perera (47) together with skipper Angelo Mathews put on 65 for the third wicket before Perera retired hurt with a hamstring injury. Mathews who made his first appearance in the tournament remained unbeaten on 51 while Asela Gunaratne on 34 as Sri Lanka reached the target with eights balls to spare.
Sri Lanka’s win leaves the group B wide open with winners of their last outings will qualify for the semis.
"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 chaseable target," Mathews says. “Wasn't easy for Gunathilaka to walk into the side and bat like how he did. Kusal is a great player, and Kusal Perera also batted really well. Those partnerships were crucial. It's a must-win game for all of us in the group. Not many people expected us to win and that took a lot of pressure off us. [Turning point?] I thought the second-wicket partnership. They set us the platform"
Dhawan celebrates his 10th ODI century
Shikhar Dhawan led the India charge with a blistering 125 as the title-holders piled up 6-321 against Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy on Thursday. After scoring 68 in India's 124-run victory against Pakistan in their Group B opener, Dhawan overpowered the Sri Lanka attack with another swaggering display at The Oval. The 31-year-old hit 15 fours and one six in his 128-ball innings, receiving strong support from fellow opener Rohit Sharma (78) and MS Dhoni (63).
India's total was the highest of the tournament so far, surpassing the 3-319 they amassed against Pakistan. It was a typically muscular effort from India as they pursue an 11th win from their last 14 ODI matches, and a 15th victory in their last 18 meetings with Sri Lanka.