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Sri Lanka outplay India as contest in Group B widens

Kusal Mendis (left) scored 89 off 93 balls in the chase for Sri Lanka
Kusal Mendis (left) scored 89 off 93 balls in the chase for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka 323-3 (Mendis 89) by
India 321-6 (Dhawan 125) by seven wickets
8th Match, Group B, ICC Champions Trophy, Kennington Oval

Shikhar Dhawan's 125-run knock went in vain for India as Sri Lanka chased down 322 runs in 48.4 overs with seven wickets in hand in the eighth game of the ICC Champions Trophy at Kennington Oval.

The result also means all the four teams in Group B have won a game apiece with the final round to decide the top two teams to make it to the semi-finals.

Dhawan-Rohit fire once again to lay solid platform:

Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to field first. Rohit Sharma (78) and Dhawan (125) scored seven boundaries between in the first powerplay to take the score to 48 for naught. The 50-run stand between the duo came in the 11th over. The duo looked in firm control as the boundaries kept coming and with two sixes in the 20th over, Rohit reached his own fifty and also the 100-run stand with Dhawan. In an eventful 25th over, Dhawan struck a boundary while Rohit followed it with a six before Lasith Malinga (2-70) had the latter caught at deep fine leg to end the 138 run opening stand.

Quick wickets dent India's momentum

Just as India had control, Nuwan Pradeep (1-73) had Virat Kohli (0) caught behind following which Dhawan struck five boundaries in the next three overs. He shared a 40-run stand with Yuvraj Singh (7) with the latter's contribution being just seven runs in it. Yuvraj's 18-ball vigil ended when he was castled by Asela Gunaratne (1-7) as India were put in a spot of bother at 179 for three in 33 overs.

India finish on a high with Dhawan-Dhoni shifting gears

In the second delivery of his innings, MS Dhoni (63) survived a review from Sri Lanka for LBW and he responded with a six to third man in the next over. The pair of Dhawan and Dhoni struck a boundary each in the 40th over at the end of which India were 218 for three with the former completing another Champions Trophy century. In the 41st over bowled by Pradeep, Dhawan struck a six while Dhoni smashed back to back boundaries as India scored 43 runs in a span of five overs.

Even though, Malinga snared Dhawan, Dhoni continued the onslaught while Kedar Jadhav (25 not out) played an unbeaten 13-ball cameo to ensure India finished their innings at 321 for six in the 50 overs.

Gunathilaka-Mendis show:

India carry forwarded their momentum into the second half as Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-54) had Niroshan Dickwella (7) caught at backward point in the fifth over. Danushka Gunathilaka (76) struck a six and a four in the eighth over as Sri Lanka finished the first powerplay with a score of 44 for one. Lapse in fielding and predictable partnership saw Gunathilaka complete a 50-run stand with Kusal Mendis (89) off just 48 deliveries. Mendis had a reprieve when Hardik Pandya (0-51) dropped him off his own bowling in the 15th over but with a six Gunathilkara completed his half century.

Mendis reached his fifty with a six in the 24th over which also saw Gunathilaka smack two more boundaries. The required run rate came under seven after Mendis dealt a major blow to Pandya with hat-trick of boundaries in the 26th over.

India fightback but damage was already done:

The 159 run stand for the second wicket finally ended when Umesh Yadav (0-67) had Gunathilaka run out while few overs later Bhuvneshwar replicated the same to send Mendis packing. Sri Lanka needed 126 runs off the final 17 overs and Kusal Perera (47 retired hurt) and Angelo Mathews (52 not out) ensured there was no pressure on the Lankan batsmen scoring odd boundaries and also bringing the 50-run stand off just 42 deliveries.

Even though, Kusal had to retire hurt with a side strain, Mathews along with Gunaratne (34 not out) ensured Sri Lanka completed the chase in 48.4 overs with seven wickets in hand. Mendis was awarded the player of the match.

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