India lead 4-0 © AFP
India lead 4-0 © AFP

India continued their unbeaten run in Sri Lanka, beating the home side by 168 runs in the fourth ODI at Colombo. Batting first, India piled on 375 for 5 with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli both smashing hundreds and Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni playing useful cameos towards the end. Sri Lanka were never in the hunt, and were only helped by Angelo Mathews, who scored a valiant 70. It was an all-around bowling show by India as Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav all snatched 2 wickets apiece. Sri Lanka folded for 207 and lost by a mammoth margin.

Chasing a record target of 376, Sri Lanka were off to a torrid start losing Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Dilshan Munaweera in quick succession. Debutant Shardul Thakur got his first international wicket thanks to DRS. MS Dhoni, prowling like a hawk behind the stumps, urged skipper Kohli to review, a decision that reaped good result. The ball had indeed brushed Dickwella’s gloves on its way to Dhoni. Mendis was then run out for 1, trying an improbable single after Munaweera sent him back. Then Dhoni insisted on DRS again for a caught-behind, this time sending Munaweera back, off Jasprit Bumrah.

Kohli then came in to bowl ahead of Kuldeep Yadav and Akshar Patel. Lahiru Thirimanne and Mathews brought in some solidity to the Sri Lanka innings. They ensured Sri Lanka went past 50 without further mess. Thirimanne pulled Pandya for six but fell next ball, for 18, hitting a short, wide ball to sweeper cover.

Milinda Siriwardana came out at No.5, and helped Mathews add 50 runs in 59 balls. He, too, went the Thirimanne way: he hit a six off Pandya, chased one wide outside off next ball, and edged to Dhoni. The pair had added 73.

Mathews reached his fifty in 61 balls after Wanidu Hasaranga joined him at the crease. The pair added 36 before Hasaranga was run out for run-a-ball 22.

Fighting a lone battle, Mathews eventually fell for 70. Akshar bowled one slow through the air. The ball hit the bottom of Mathews bat and lobbed in the air to Thakur.

Bumrah came back into the attack and snapped Malinda Pushpakumara for 3. Trying to steer the ball past third-man gave a simple catch to Pandya.

The final nails in the coffin were hammered by Kuldeep. He nabbed two wickets in two balls to hand India a massive 168-run win. Vishwa Fernando handed a simple catch to the bowler for 5. Skipper Lasith Malinga took a wild swipe next ball and was bowled. Sri Lanka were dished out their biggest ODI defeat at home in terms of runs.

Earlier, India were helped by Rohit and Kohli. They added 219 as Rohit hit his 13th and Kohli his 29th respectively. After a mini middle-order collapse, Dhoni and Pandey took their side past 350. Pandey went on to score his second ODI fifty while Dhoni remained unbeaten on 49; remaining unbeaten 73 times in ODIs.

Both teams next clash on Sunday in the fifth and final ODI at the very same venue.

Brief scores:

India 375 for 5 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 104, Virat Kohli 131; Angelo Mathews 2 for 24) beat Sri Lanka 207 in 42.4 overs (Angelo Mathews 70 , Wanidu Hasaranga 36; Kuldeep Yadav 2 for 31) by 168 runs.

Man of the Match: Virat Kohli.

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