Sri Lanka vs India 4th ODI: Kohli, Rohit demolish Sri Lanka

Virat Kohli hundred India Sri Lanka cricket

Virat Kohli (right) celebrates after scoring his 29th ODI hundred

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

India captain Virat Kohli and opening batsman Rohit Sharma hammered 131 and 104 respectively to lead their side to a 168-run win over Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI in Colombo.

This was Kohli’s second score over fifty in the ODI series, but first hundred. As for Rohit, he made his second consecutive century as he scored an unbeaten 124 in the third ODI in Pallekele.

With India cruising to their third-biggest win over Sri Lanka in ODIs on Thursday, they have hold a 4-0 lead in the series going into the fifth and final ODI in Colombo on Sunday.

Choosing to bat first, India stuttered at the beginning of their innings as opener Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed by Vishwa Fernando for four runs on the ninth ball of the match.

However, Rohit and Kohli led India’s recovery and put them firmly in the driver’s seat with a magnificent 219-run partnership, during which Kohli sailed past his hundred, while Rohit brought up his fifty.

With India taking the attack to Sri Lanka’s bowling attack and maintaining a superb run rate, the hosts were at a loss of answers on how to break the Rohit and Kohli’s stand.

But, in the 30th over, veteran seamer and stand-in captain Lasith Malinga made the pivotal breakthrough for Sri Lanka as he removed Kohli for 131, which came off 96 balls and included 17 boundaries and two sixes.

Kohli’s dismissal brought up a milestone for Malinga as he became the 11th player in history to take 300 ODI wickets.

Hardik Pandya fell after making 19, while Rohit was on his way back to the pavilion the very next ball for 104, which came off 88 deliveries and included 11 boundaries and three sixes.

Rohit Sharma century India Sri Lanka cricket

Rohit Sharma is all smiles after bringing up his 13th ODI century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

With Lokesh Rahul not lasting long at the crease, Sri Lanka suddenly found themselves back in the game.

However, Manish Pandey and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was playing in his 300th ODI, gave India the upper hand once again as they put together an unbeaten 101-run partnership.

Pandey finished on 50 off 42 balls, which included four boundaries, while Dhoni remained undefeated on 49 as India scored 375/5 off their 50 overs, which was their third-highest total against Sri Lanka in ODI history.

Manish Pandey fifty India Sri Lanka cricket

Manish Pandey scored his second ODI fifty

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Angelo Mathews was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Fernando, Malinga and Akila Dananjaya chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 376 to win, Sri Lanka found themselves in trouble right from the get-go as Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Dilshan Munaweera were all dismissed in quick succession.

Struggling at 37/3, Sri Lanka were starting to rebuild their innings, but disaster struck when Lahiru Thirimanne was caught by Dhawan at deep point off the bowling of Pandya for 18.

Mathews and Milinda Siriwarsana offered some resistance in the form of a 73-run partnership, but once Siriwardana was caught behind off the bowling of Pandya for 39, Sri Lanka’s collapse resumed.

Mathews ended up scoring 70 off 80 balls, which included 10 boundaries, as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 207.

Angelo Mathews half-century India Sri Lanka cricket

Angelo Mathews’ 34th half-century went in vain

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav took two wickets apiece, while Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel claimed one wicket each.

Malinga was less than impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “300th wicket is just a number. I’m happy, but we lost which is very unfortunate. It’s not easy. Last five matches, we didn’t post 250. Young players want to perform well, they’re all excited but we haven’t been able to come up with our best. They need the experience. Hopefully they will do their best over the next few months.”

Kohli, who was named Man of the Match, was thrilled to have won again, and said: “We spoke about not being complacent at any stage, today was a clinical performance. We wanted to bat first because we hadn’t batted first in the three games. The surface was amazing. It was a good toss to win. We’ve given opportunities to three new guys. They will get another opportunity. Batting order will depend on the situation of the game.”

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