ICC Champions Trophy: Sri Lanka stun India to blow Group B wide open | Nigeria sports news, transfers & gossips

ICC Champions Trophy: Sri Lanka stun India to blow Group B wide open

Sri Lanka blew the ICC Champions Trophy wide open with a record-breaking seven-wicket win over India at The Oval.

A brilliantly paced chase from Angelo Mathews’ side saw them knock off 322 with eight balls to spare, the largest successful chase in The Oval’s one-day international history.

As a result, each side in Group B has two points with a game to play. Sri Lanka will face Pakistan, while India must beat South Africa to keep their hopes of retaining the trophy alive.

In these sub-continental neighbours’ 150th ODI meeting, India opener Shikhar Dhawan hit his 10th ODI century en route to 125 – the third-highest score in this year’s tournament.

Rohit Sharma (78) and MS Dhoni (63) enjoyed fruitful unions with Dhawan as India posted 321-6 after being inserted by Sri Lanka captain Mathews, returning from a calf injury.

However, in a tournament that has been filled with one-sided thrashings and washouts, Sri Lanka bucked the trend brilliantly.


Danushka Gunathilaka (76) and Kusal Mendis (89) added 159 runs for the second Sri Lankan wicket, before both were run out, but Mathews (52 not out), Kusal Perera (47) and Asela Gunaratne (34no) maintained the momentum to secure a famous victory.

That India-South Africa meeting back in London will feature both AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli looking to bounce back from scoring nought – the India captain lasted just five balls here before nicking off to Nuwan Pradeep (1-73), registering an ODI duck for the first time since August 2014 against England in Cardiff.

Kohli’s misfire initially seemed benign as Dhawan and Rohit had piled on 138 for the opening wicket, the latter hitting six fours and three sixes before sending a Lasith Malinga (2-70) bouncer straight down long leg’s throat.

Malinga also accounted for Dhawan as the left-hander swung lustily to long on after a powerful performance.


Yuvraj Singh (7) and Hardik Pandya (9) joined Kohli in contributing little with the bat, but Dhoni was at his thrilling best, smashing 63 from 51 balls before attacking his 52nd with a trademark ‘helicopter’ shot that ended up caught at long off in the final over.

Despite facing a challenge based in uncharted territory in ODIs, Sri Lanka silenced the vast swathes of India fans with a dazzling performance.

Gunathilaka classily compiled his personal-best ODI score, blasting Umesh Yadav and Hardik for maximums but he and Mendis dithered over taking a second run, with Umesh’s accurate throw and Dhoni’s lightning-fast hands giving India a crucial strike before Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s brilliant pick-up and throw removed Sri Lanka’s other set batsman.

But Sri Lanka once again responded, with Mathews and Perera keeping up the run-a-ball pace, until the latter had to retire hurt with a hamstring injury on 47.

Wickets in hand gave Sri Lanka the advantage, however. Gunaratne pulled his fourth ball for six and swept Jasprit Bumrah miles over square leg to further darken Indian moods.

Mathews reached a 33rd ODI fifty with a glorious straight drive before flipping the next ball into the leg side to equal their highest run-chase and secure a monumental triumph.


Ajike is one of Nigeria's top Sportscasters with over 15 years of experience in writing and talking Sports.

Related Articles

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x