Kohli, Gambhir script Indian win

Cricket: Fourth one-dayer: Seven-wicket victory at Eden Gardens spurs Men in Blue to ODI series triumph

Kohli, Gambhir script Indian win

 
The Delhi duo walked in when India, chasing Sri Lanka’s stiff 315, were in dire straits at 23 for two with both their openers – Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar – back in the hut and by the timeCentury man: India’s Virat Kohli acknowledges the crowd after reaching his maiden hundred in one-dayers in the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.PTI Kohli returned to the pavilion after scripting an authoritative ton, India had put on 247 on board.
Feeding off the 214-ball 224-run partnership, India replied with 317/3 in 48.1 overs to register seven-wicket win and clinch the five-match one-day series 3-1 with a match to go in Delhi on Sunday.

It was a match defined two marvelous third-wicket partnerships. Upul Tharanga and Kumar Sangakkara had steered Lanka out of a mini-crisis with a fortuitous 126-run association after the visiting captain elected to bat first. It was largely on the exploits of the two stylish left-handers that Lanka managed the highest total on this ground. Gambhir (150 n.o., 137b, 14x4) and Kohli (107, 114b, 11x4, 1x6) went one better than their rivals to amass over two hundred runs between them that helped India break their three-match losing streak at this venue.  
  
With not much experience to follow in the middle-order, it was crucial that one of the two openers play a significant innings. But both Sehwag and Tendulkar were gone in a jiffy and it needed something out of the ordinary from the remaining Indian batsmen to pull it off. Gambhir’s match-winning knock didn’t come as much of a surprise, but Kohli’s did. The 21-year-old played a mature innings without ever sacrificing his natural flair. Both the batsman caught the high-flying Lankan bowlers on the wrong foot by unleashing a spectacular counter attack as India never fell behind the asking rate. Like Tharanga had done to Ishant Sharma – hitting the bowler for five fours in his first over -- during Lankan innings, Kohli returned the favour in almost the similar fashion by carting Lasith Malinga for four consecutive fours in slinger’s first over. Having gained the momentum, the two played within themselves to guide India to safety.

Earlier, Sewhag might have been pleasantly surprised to see his new-ball bowlers putting up an impressive show in the first 10 overs. A mere 45 runs came off the first Power Play, in total contrast to the run glut in the earlier matches during field restrictions. The good start, however, was negated by Ishant, whose waywardness was only matched by Tharanga’s elegance-laced brutality. Tharanga’s period of attack was then followed by a consolidation with his skipper Sangakkara (60, 72b, 5x4) in the company as Lanka made a commanding total in their innings, split by power failure in the final over.

One isn’t sure if the brawl with a photographer at a night club here on Tuesday night had any effect on Tillakaratne DilsSri Lanka's Upul Tharanga acknowledges the crowd after scoring a century against India during the fourth one day international cricket match between India and Sri Lanka in Calcutta onThursday. AP Photohan. But the Indians weren’t complaining. Dilshan tied down for a longer period than he would have liked to and fell while his pull off Ashish Nehra was snapped up by a diving Kohli at backward square-leg with nothing significant against his name. With their tormentor gone, India would have envisaged another low total from their rivals, but Tharanga finally delivered a big one that he had been threatening to do through the series. The left-hander’s seventh one-day century (118, 128b, 14x4, 2x6) carried Lankans to a commanding total.

The ground fielding was without doubt India’s best in the series yet, but two catches they spilled ensured they had to climb a steep target. Nehra grassed a sharp return offer from Tharanga when the batsman was only on seven while Harbhajan Singh mis-judged Sangakkara’s top-edged skier at third man. The left-hander, still to open his account then, made the most of this lapse to bring up his half-century. But nothing appeared to faze India on the day.  

Scoreboard

SRI LANKA
Tharanga b Zaheer    118
(128, 14x4, 2x6)
Dilshan c Kohli b Nehra    9
(19b, 1x4)
Jayasuriya c Tendulkar b Zaheer    15
(15b, 3x4)
Sangakkara St Kaarthick b
Harbhajan    60
(72b, 5x4)
Jayawardene (run out)    33
(30b, 5x4)
Perera c Jadeja b Nehra    31
(14b, 5x4, 1x6)
Kandamby (not out)    23
(15b, 4x4)
Samaraweera (not out)    13
(7b, 1x4)
Extras (LB-3, W-10)    13
Total (for 6 wkts, 50 overs)    315

Fall of wickets: 1-31 (Dilshan), 2-72 (Jayasuriya), 3-198 (Sangakkara), 4-234 (Tharanga), 5-271 (Perera), 6-285 (Jayawardene),

Bowling: Zaheer Khan 10-49-2, Ashish Nehra 9-0-68-2 (w-3), Ishant Sharma 7-0-67-0 (w-1), Harbhajan Singh 10-0-53-1 (w-5), Ravindra Jadeja 9-1-51-0, Virender Sehwag 3-0-15-0, Suresh Raina 2-0-9-0 (w-1).
Runs during Power Play:
Power Play 1: 1-10 overs: 45/1;
Power Play 2: 11-15 overs: 46/1;
Power Play 3 (bating): 54/0.

INDIA
Sehwag c Dilshan b Lakmal    10
(10b, 2x4)
Tendulkar c Randiv b Lakmal    8
(8b, 2x4)
Gambhir (not out)    150
(137b, 14x4)
Kohli c (sub) P’kumara b Randiv    107
(114b, 11x4, 1x6)
Kaarthick (not out)    19
(22b, 1x4)

Extras (LB-5, W-16, NB-2)     23
Total (for 3 wkts, 48.1 overs)    317

Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Virender Sehwag), 2-23 (Sachin Tendulkar), 3-247 (Virat Kohli).
Bowling: Thissara Perera 9-0-66-0 (w-4), Suranga Lakmal 10-0-55-2 (nb-2, w-7), Lasith Malinga 9.1-0-75-0 (nb-1, w-4), Suraj Randiv 10-0-57-1 (w-1), Sanath Jayasuriya 7-0-42-0, Tillkaratne Dilshan 3-0-17-0.

Runs during Power Play:
Power Play 1: 1-10 overs: 74/2;
Power Play 2: 11-15 overs: 24/0;
Power Play 3 (batting): 45-49 overs: 37/0.

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