While Shikhar Dhawan scored 125, MS Dhoni scored 52-ball 63 © Getty Images
While Shikhar Dhawan scored 125, MS Dhoni scored 52-ball 63 © Getty Images

India’s powerful batting line-up guided them to 321 for 5 in Match 8 of ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Group B fixture at The Oval. In a do-or-die match, Sri Lanka leaked 103 runs in the last 10 overs. While Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan laid the foundation of the innings, MS Dhoni’s blitz in the death ensured India reach 300-run mark. Lasith Malinga was the pick of bowlers who ended with 2 for 70 despite being hammered by Rohit and Dhawan in the initial overs. Interestingly, Suranga Lakmal, Malinga and Nuwan Pardeep ended their innings with economy rate of 7 or more. It will be over to the Indian bowlers to defend what is the fourth highest total in Champions Trophy. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Sri Lanka, ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Match 8 at The Oval

Earlier, Angelo Mathews won the toss and elected to field. While India went for an unchanged side Sri Lanka made three changes. Injured Mathews returned to the side for Upul Tharanga who was charged for four-hour innings in the previous game, Thisara Perera for Seekkuge Prasanna and Dhanushka Gunathilaka for injured Chamara Kapugedara. Mathews and Asela Gunaratne were playing their first ODI together for Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka came out sporting yellow blended with their generic blue. Rohit and Dhawan began their innings in similar fashion as seen in their first match of the tournament.

Rohit gently pushed a loose delivery of his Mumbai Indians (MI) teammate Malinga to the cover for first boundary. Sri Lankan pacers started off with loose and short deliveries but found their rhythm from the next. Dhawan was also off the mark cutting a short delivery of Lakmal through point for his first boundary. Since, India faced 23 dot balls. However, Dhawan and Rohit picked up the pace and piled up 27 runs by the 6th over. Mathews decided to bring a bowling change with Pradeep replacing Malinga. He was on money with his good length and even attempted to get Rohit out of the league with direct hit.

By the first Powerplay, India were in good stead at 48 for no loss. Rohit and Dhawan continued their form from Edgbaston and put up their ninth 50-run stand in ODIs. Sri Lanka made another bowling change in the 12th over to break the growing partnership between Rohit and Dhawan. Perera who in the last 10 ODIs against India has picked just 3 wickets and averages 136.66, began decently.

Spinner Gunathilaka also tried his luck but began poorly with Dhawan paddling a boundary down leg. The milestones continued between Dhawan and Rohit where the latter completed 1,000 ODI runs sliding single towards fine leg off Pradeep.

Dhawan and Rohit were approaching their second fifty of this tournament as India were placed at 86 for no loss by the drinks break. Just like the previous match, Rohit got to his fifty in style with a six towards deep square leg off Thisara. India also raced to 100-run mark in the process. It was also the 10th ODI 100-run partnership between Dhawan and Rohit, third in a row in ODIs.

Mathews decided to bring their lethal weapon, Malinga, back into attack. Meanwhile, Dhawan approached his second fifty with a boundary through cover off 69 balls. Rohit who was on a roll with boundaries flowing, was halted by Malinga. Rohit attempted a pull but failed to find the connection and a comfortable catch was taken by Thisara at long leg. That ended the partnership between Rohit and Dhawan who became the second pair in ICC matches to secure 1,085 runs after Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden’s 1,539 runs.

Suddenly, the game tilted towards Sri Lanka’s side as skipper Virat Kohli was also found making his way back to hut for nought. But, Malinga’s mediocre bowling continued as Dhawan hit 4 successive boundaries since Kohli’s wicket. India glided to 150-run mark by 27.1 overs.

Dhawan and Yuvraj added some momentum after successive wickets with their 40-run stand for third wicket. However, Gunaratne got lucky on his first over and removed Yuvraj for 7.

Dhoni and Dhawan continued their onslaught with the former showing his usual class with a six over the third man. On the other hand, Dhawan continued his love affair with Champions Trophy, raising his 10th ODI and 3rd Champions Trophy century off 112 deliveries.

Dhawan and Dhoni took turns to hammer Sri Lanka. Pradeep was targeted in the death leaking 16 runs as Dhoni and Dhawan smashed 2 fours and a six.

However, Sri Lanka struck timely once again breaking the second highest-partnership between Dhoni and Dhawan of 82 runs, as he hit straight down long-on to Kusal Mendis. Malinga ended with 24 wickets in Champions Trophy, joint-most with Muttiah Muralitharan while Dhawan headed to the pavilion with score of 125, his highest in England.

Sri Lanka tried to hold fort in death as Hardik Pandya handed simple catch to Kusal Perera in the deep. While Dhoni reached his fifty off 46 deliveries, Kedar Jadhav remained unbeaten on 25 respectively.

Brief scores:

India 321 for 5 in 50 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 125, Rohit Sharma 78, MS Dhoni 63; Lasith Malinga 2 for 70) vs Sri Lanka