Gambhir & Kohli Set Up Series-Clinching Win For India

Gambhir & Kohli Set Up Series-Clinching Win For India
Gambhir & Kohli Set Up Series-Clinching Win For India
©REUTERS/Arko Datta - picture supplied by Action Images

India 317-3 (Gambhir 150no, Kohli 107) beat
Sri Lanka 315-6 (Tharanga 118, Sangakkara 60) by seven wickets

Fourth One-Day International, Kolkata

Gautam Gambhir scored his seventh One-Day International century, and Virat Kohli his first as India moved into an unassailable 3-1 series lead over Sri Lanka with a seven-wicket win in Kolkata.

Gambhir, who was unbeaten on 150, and Kohli, who made 107, shared a third-wicket stand of 224 to steer India past a victory target of 316, which had been set up by Upul Tharanga's own century earlier in the day.

With two matches in the series remaining, India sealed the series in style, doing it the hard way after Virender Sehwag (8) and Sachin Tendulkar (10) were both dismissed cheaply by Suranga Lakmal.

Kohli faced 114 balls in his innings, hitting 11 fours and a six before he was caught by substitute Muthumudalige Pushpakumara as off-spinner Suraj Randiv finally broke their stand.

However, there were to be no further breakthroughs as Gambhir accelerated to finish on 150 in 137 balls having hit 15 fours and he was supported at the end as Dinesh Karthik (19 not out) finished unbeaten for the second match in a row, the winning runs coming with 11 balls to spare.

Earlier, Tharanga scored a fine century as Sri Lanka posted 315 for six after winning the toss and choosing to bat first.

After a cautious start and the loss of Tillakaratne Dilshan to a spectacular catch at long leg by Kholi, Sri Lanka put their foot on the gas with six boundaries in seven balls in the eleventh over as Ishant Sharma's first over was despatched for 20.

However as the pendulum has often swung in this series, so it did again. Indian captain Sehwag called for a slip for Jayasuriya and immediately Tendulkar was in action to snare a good low catch in front of his body to dismiss the Sri Lankan power hitter.

Tharanga hit 14 fours and two sixes in his 128-ball innings and he was well supported by captain Kumar Sangakkara, who made 60, Mahela Jayawardene who hit 33 and Tissera Perera, who hammered 31 in just 14 balls at the death.

Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra both picked up two wickets. India were without Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who served the final match of his suspension for India's slow over-rate in the opening match.

Dhoni could return for the final match in Delhi on 27th December as India look to round off a superb year in which they have been ranked as the number one Test nation by the ICC with another victory.

© Cricket World 2009

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