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Sri Lanka halts India march

Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara wanted his team to play arrogance against India. That was exactly what it did on Thursday on its way to a seven-wicket win against Virat Kohli’s bunch as the islanders made light of the 322-run target and won in 48.4 overs.

Sri Lanka halts India march
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Sri Lanka?s Kusal Mendis hits a six to reach his half century during the match

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Sri Lanka’s win came after India ran up a healthy 321 for six with a fine century from Shikhar Dhawan (125) and a Sri Lankan fightback which virtually took the match away from it. 

Sri Lanka launched a counter-attack after losing an early wicket in its chase through a 160run stand for the second wicket between Dhanushka Gunathilaka (76 off 72 balls) and Kusal Mendis (89 off 93 balls, 11x4, 1x6) in quick time. 

In fact, Mendis too was run out to a direct hit from Bhuvneshwar Kumar from mid-on. Captain Angelo Mathews gave the finishing touch to the Lankan chase with 52 not out. 

The turning point was Gunathilaka’s run out while going for a second run as Yadav’s throw from the deep was well collected by MS Dhoni who whipped the bail off in a flash. 

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan continued his love affair with the ICC Champions Trophy with yet another elegant hundred, guiding India to an imposing 321 for 6 against Sri Lanka in a Group B match. 

Dhawan smashed his way to 125 off 128 balls, his 10th career ODI hundred, and added 138 for the opening stand with Rohit Sharma, who cruised his way to 78 off 79 balls. 

The final flourish was provided by Mahendra Singh Dhoni with a quickfire 63 off 52 balls. This was Dhawan’s third hundred in Champions Trophy, having scored a couple during last edition. His entertaining innings comprised 15 fours and a six. He got an able ally in Dhoni, who got an ideal platform coming in to bat in the 34th over. 

The fourth-wicket stand produced 82 runs in 10.4 overs. The former captain used all his experience, hitting seven fours and two sixes on his way to reaching his 62nd ODI half- century. 

Kedar Jadhav’s (25 of 13 balls) cameo was icing on the cake. Dhawan played effortlessly after the loss of Virat Kohli (0) and Yuvraj Singh (7) in quick succession.

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