Rohit Sharma © Getty Images
Rohit Sharma scored a fluent 142 off 111 balls © Getty Images (File photo)

By Abhijit Banare

Oct 30, 2014

India A completed a convincing 88–run victory over Sri lanka in the only tour match at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai on Thursday. Chasing 383 to win, the Lankans mustered only with Upul Tharanga (76) being the top-scorer.

The Sri Lankan skipper won the toss and opted to bowl. India A had a new opener  from the two warm-up matches against West Indies. Back from his thumb injury, Rohit Sharma replaced Murali Vijay. A lot had been spoken about India’s opening combination and whether he should bat in the middle-order or stay at the top. But Rohit must have quelled all the doubts with a brilliant 142 in 111 balls. Backed by Manish Pandey’s exploits (135 in 113 balls) India A galloped to a mammoth 382.

In response, the Lankan had a subdued start with explosive Kusal Perera perishing to Dhawal Kulkarni for four. The lack of solid partnerships hurt the Lankans in the run-chase. After losing two wickets inside 10 overs, Sangakkara and Tharanga steadied the ship. Tharanga in particular looked in fine touch right at from the start. He stroked four boundaries in the third over of the match off Dhawal’s bowling.

After a watchful start against the spinners, Karn and Rasool, the duo resumed their free-flowing innings. Against spinners it’s tough to keep Sangakkara quiet. He finally stepped down to Karn Sharma in 13th over and hammered him for a four. The elegant left-hander started continued with his trademark style of placing in the gaps and picking the singles and twos at ease. Two overs later, Sangakkara pulled Karn which sped past the square-leg umpire for four. That shot indicated his fluency. Meanwhile, Tharanga got to his 50 in 57 balls. The partnership of 68 was finally broken by Rasool after Sangakkara went for a delicate glide but an agile Unmukt Chand latched on to it.

India A used three spinners in Karn, Rasool and Kuldeep Yadav. The chinaman bowler Yadav was the last to come on to bowl in the 21st over.

The three of them pegged the opposition down barring a few boundaries picked by Tharanga and new man Mahela Jayawardene. Within quick time, the scenario tilted heavily in India A’s favour with Tharanga dismissed for 76 by Karn.

The leggie was impeccable making run-scoring difficult. He removed Angelo Mathews for three and then scalped the wicket of Jayawardene with a googly. Throughout their innings, the Lankans never looked keen to go after the target. They were content spending time at the crease and last the 50 overs.

It was only in the 36th over, pace was introduced with Dhawal and Binny coming abck in to the attack. The Lanans dragged the innings with Niroshan Dickwella and Ashan Priyanjan sharing a small partnership before the spinners bagged a few more. The last-wicket pair picked a few runs against part-timers like Manoj Tiwary and Kedar Jadhav.

Brief scores:

India A 382 for 6 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 142, Manish Pandey 135*; Dhammika Prasad 3 for 57) beat Sri Lanka 294 for 9 in 50 overs (Upul Tharanga 76, Mahela Jayawardene 33; Karn Sharma 4 for 47) by 88 runs.

Complete coverage of Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on @AbhijitVirgo)