India romp home in style
Kohli, Tiwary sparkle as visitors crush SL to clinch series in style
Virat Kohli’s dream run in ODIs continued as his brilliant century guided India to a comfortable six-wicket victory in the fourth one-dayer against Sri Lanka, thereby clinching the five-match series 3-1 on Tuesday.
Courtesy’s Kohli’s 119-ball 128 and his partnership of 146 runs with an in-form Suresh Raina (58), India reached the 252-run target in 42.2 overs at the R Premadasa stadium.
This is Kohli’s 13th century in his 89th ODI appearance, a feat still unattained by any other batsman in ODI history.
The Delhi batsman, on his way to another three-digit figure, also completed quickest 1000 runs in a calender year with a whopping average of 77.15. He has now scored his fifth century in last eight matches.
Howevere, it was Raina who scored the winning run with a hit over extra cover off Tillakaratne Dilshan as India reached 255 for four.
Raina’s 51-ball 58 was his 24th half-century and eighth against Sri Lanka.
Both Kohli and Raina blunted Sri Lanka’s spin attack and batted beautifully. Raina may not be as prolific numbers as Kohli but batting at number five and six, he has more than pulled his weight.
Earlier, after being benched for 14 consecutive matches, Tiwary made an impressive comeback into the playing eleven, grabbing a career-best four for 61 to restrict Sri Lanka to 251 for eight.
It was Tiwary whose effective leg-breaks accounted for Dinesh Chandimal (28), Angelo Mathews (14), Jeevan Mendis (17) and Thisara Perera (2) as he knocked the stuffing out of Sri Lankan middle-order after Tillekaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga added 91 runs for the opening stand.
The gamble of playing Tiwary as a leg-spinning all-rounder in place of Rahul Sharma worked well for Dhoni.
Tharanga st Dhoni b Ashwin 51
Dilshan c Dhoni b Dinda 42
Thirimanne b Ashwin 47
Chandimal c Pathan b Tiwary 28
Jayawardene c Dhoni b Sehwag 3
Mathews c Kohli b Tiwary 14
Mendis b Tiwary 17
Perera c Raina b Tiwary 2
Herath (not out) 17
Malinga (not out) 15
Extras (LB-2, W-13) 15
Total (for 8 wks, 50 overs) 251
Fall of wickets: 1-91, 2-102, 3-152, 4-155, 5-190, 6-213, 7-218, 8-219.
Bowling: Zaheer 6-0-36-0, Irfan 6-0-27-0, Dinda 6-0-28-1, Kohli 2-0-7-0, Sehwag 8-1-38-1, Ashwin 10-1-46-2, Tiwary 10-1-61-4, Rohit 2-0-6-0.
Gambhir b Malinga 0
Sehwag c sub b Mathews 34
Kohli (not out) 128
Sharma lbw Pradeep 4
Tiwary lbw Mendis 21
Raina (not out) 58
Extras (LB-2, W-6, NB-2) 10
Total (for 4 wkts, 42.2 overs) 255
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-52, 3-60, 4-109.
Bowling: Lasith Malinga 8-1-41-1, Thisara Perera 6-0-51-0, Mathews 6-1-18-1, Pradeep 8-0-52-1, Herath 7-0-44-0, J Mendis 6-0-37-1, Dilshan 1.2-0-10-0.