Sri Lanka pulled off the biggest upset of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy as they beat India by 7 wickets at the Oval yesterday. The result threw Group B wide open as now all four teams are on 2 points and the last two matches, (India vs South Africa and Pakistan vs Sri Lanka), will decide who goes through to the semi-finals.
India’s batting unit put up 321 runs on the board despite captain Virat Kohli failing to open his account, after being put into bat.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Niroshan Dickwella (7) early with some disciplined bowling.
But Gunathilaka batted with the flair of Sangakkara and the fearlessness of Jayasuriya, cutting and pulling the Indian pace bowlers with elan to take the fight back to Kohli and his men.
Gunathilaka brought up his half-century with a big six over mid-wicket and that was a signal to Team India that they had a fight on their hands.
Mendis then upped the ante by targeting Jadeja and brought up his half-century with a huge six off the left-arm spinner.
Pandya dropped Mendis of his own bowling and Rohit Sharma failed to take a difficult chance in the deep by Gunathilaka, made matters worse for the ‘Men in Blue’. Gunathilaka flicked one towards backward square leg and tried to complete a double, but Umesh Yadav’s accurate throw and Dhoni’s quick gloves-work broke the 159-run stand. Gunathilaka departed for a career-best score of 76.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar ran Mendis out off his own bowling with the score on 196/3.
Perera and Mathews played calmly and kept the team in the chase by getting the crucial boundaries.
Kusal Perera with a hamstring injury retired hurt after scoring 47 runs in 44 deliveries with Sri Lanka still needing 51 runs off the last seven overs.
New man Asela Gunaratne hit a six off Umesh Yadav’s 44th over and then two boundaries off Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 45th over to bring the equation. Gunaratne and Mathews got the job done with eight balls to spare.
Mathews batted with maturity to end up unbeaten on 52, while the maverick Gunaratne stayed unbeaten on 34 off just 21 deliveries.
Earlier, India posted a total of 321 runs on the board, with Rohit Sharma (78) and Shikhar Dhawan (125), stringing together a healthy 138-run partnership.
Virat Kohli failed to open his account and Yuvraj Singh scored 7 runs.
M.S. Dhoni along with Dhawan took the innings forward without taking too many risks. The Sri Lankan bowlers bowled some poor deliveries and Dhoni slammed 7 boundaries and 2 sixes to score 63 off 52 deliveries, before being dismissed in the last over. Kedar Jadhav’s 25 of 13 deliveries saw India end up with 321 runs, with 103 runs scored in the last 10 overs.