India celebrate Dhoni's 300th ODI with thumping win over Lanka
Colombo [Sri Lanka], August 31 : India continued their dominance in the ongoing tour of Sri Lanka, defeating them by a huge margin of 168 runs in the fourth ODI of the five-match series at the R. Premdasa Stadium here on Thursday.Chasing a monstrous target of 376, Sri Lanka were bundled out for 207 runs inside 43 overs.
None of the Sri Lankan batters could stay long at the crease, except Angelo Mathews.
Chasing the gigantic total, what hosts needed was a great start. But contrary to that, they lost their top three wickets within the first 10 overs of their innings.
Only Mathews could survive the Indian bowling and played a handsome knock of 70.
But, he couldn't find any support from the other end and eventually fell prey to Axar Patel in search of quick runs.
For the visitors, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav were the pick of the bowlers as they picked up two wickets each and hardly gave anything away.
Debutant Shardul Thakur was also impressive with his medium pacers and so was Axar.
Earlier, India rode on the blistering tons of skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to set a monstrous target of 376.
India did not have the greatest of starts as they lost opener Shikhar Dhawan in the second over itself. However, Kohli (131) and Sharma (104) took the innings from there on and shared gigantic 219-run stand for first wicket.
Both of them smashed the Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts of the ground. While the skipper hit 17 fours and 2 sixes in his 96-ball knock, Sharma smacked 11 fours and 3 sixes in his innings of 88 deliveries.
India reached 200 in the 25th over and it looked as if they would go on to score in excess of 400. However, the visitors lost the plot with a couple of quick wickets and the recovery took about five-six overs which is where Sri Lanka chipped in with a couple of maidens.
However, wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was playing his 300th ODI, kept his calm and composure and shared an unbeaten 101-run stand with Manish Pandey.
Both of them hit some lusty blows during the course of their innings. While Pandey reached his 50, Dhoni finished one short of what was a well deserving half century.
For the hosts, Angelo Mathews was the pick of the bowlers as he scalped two wickets giving away 24 runs in his six over. Lasith Malinga, who is leading the side in absence of Chamara Kapugedara, was very expensive as he leaked 82 runs in his quota of 10 overs.
The two teams will play the final match on Sunday in Colombo.