Published: Fri, June 09, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Dhawan blasts ton as India run riot

Dhawan blasts ton as India run riot

India slumped to their first Champions Trophy defeat since 2009 as Virat Kohli's men lost to Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in their second Group B encounter at The Oval.

However, in a tournament that has been filled with one-sided thrashings and washouts, Sri Lanka bucked the trend brilliantly.

A stand of 159 between Danushka Gunathilaka (76) and Kusal Mendis (89) set the platform for the victory and, after both were run out, captain Angelo Mathews (52no) guided the side home - making light work of it in the end as they completed the win with eight balls to spare. Afterwards captain Angelo Mathews, who helmed the chase with a fine 52 not out, dedicated the win to a country ravaged by floods that have killed more than 200 people and left more than 600,000 homeless.

After being outplayed in their opening game, everybody was expecting Sri Lanka to bow down to the mighty Indians, but their batsmen all stepped up to leave all four teams in Group B on two points with one game each remaining.

"We all felt we had enough on the board at the halfway mark", Kohli said."We trusted our bowlers, but they (Sri Lanka) were pretty good on the day". Maybe he thought the best way to beat India was to expose them on a pitch which had some moisture in it, thanks to rain over the last couple of days. In fact not at all, as they went about their business, putting on 138 for the first wicket. India, Kohli pointed out, do not play the "explosive" brand of cricket through the middle overs that teams such as England have made a trademark.

Despite facing a challenge based in uncharted territory in ODIs, Sri Lanka silenced the vast swathes of India fans with a dazzling performance. But for us, Danushka supported me very well.

Sri Lanka, who have been termed as "underdogs" in the ongoing event, on Thursday overcame the India challenge as they registered a comfortable seven-wicket win over their Asian neighbours in their crucial encounter here at the Oval, London.

After 10 overs they scored only 48, keeping to India's average since the 2015 Cricket World Cup, then loosened up. Also playing his part was Rohit Sharma who made 78 off 79 balls.

"It wasn t easy for Gunathilaka to walk into the side and bat like how he did". With all teams level on points in the group, the two matches are virtual quarter-finals. For India, none of the bowlers looked like picking up a wicket and out of the three Sri Lankan wickets to fall, two were run outs. He soon found MS Dhoni for company and two restarted India's oush for a 300-plus score.

India must now beat South Africa on Sunday in order to qualify for the semifinals.

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