Virat Kohli lead from the front in a another impressive performance for India as they beat a disappointing Sri Lanka by six wickets. Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat first, which very soon seemed to be a ‘doomed decision’ by Sri Lanka captain Angelo Matthews.
The 1996 world champions slumped to 7-2 , Umesh Yadv impressing in an impressive opening spell of bowling. Kushal Perera and Kumar Sangakara the men out, the latter falling for a golden duck. Rattled Sri lanka regrouped and the ‘experienced heads’ of Tilkeratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardena put on 105 for the third wicket.
When Dilshan fell for 53, it was left to Jayawardena to rebuild the innings – and he nearly did, the 36 year old notched up an impressive hundred – but sadly ran out of partners. Sri Lanka, who were at one stage 111-3 crumbled and stuttered to 242 all out.
Prasanna did support Jayawardena for a little while – but his cameo would be ended by Umesh Yadv who took 4-53. Yadav was supported by Akshar Patel who took for 3-40, for Sri Lanka another ‘timid’ batting performance must be of concern especially with the 50 over world cup not to far away.Only Dilshan,Jayawardena and Prasana with his ‘late counter attack’ , provided any resistance.
India started their run chase in confident enough fashion, Rahane and Dawan who both scored hundreds in first match put on 62 for the first wicket. Thisara Perera with break through, despite that setback India never looked in to much trouble. It came as a bit of a shock then when Ambati Rayudu ( a centurion in the last match) was needlessly run out on 35.
At that stage the score was 131-2 and there was maybe a glimmer of hope for Sri Lanka – but a third wicket stand of 70 between the captain Virat kohli and Shikar Dawan effectively killed the contest. A careless shot down the leg-side saw Dawan caught behind for 91 – although replays appeared to show that there was no contact with bat or glove, Nuwan kulasekra the man taking the wicket.
Kohli before the game needed just 50 runs to become the fastest player to score 6,000 runs in one day internationals – and the Delhi born batsmen did break the record with a flick to midwicket. Seeming content with his days work, skipper Kohli needlessly holed out to the fielder at the boundary.
With the job ‘99%’ done the RCB captain can be forgiven I guess for a ‘rush of blood to the head’ . With just seven needed, Wiridimahn Saha and Suresh Raina got their side over the line with nearly six overs to spare, Saha finishing the match off with a four. India take the series and have an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four match series, the Indian’s made this chase harder than what it should have been – but a win is a win I guess.