India vs Sri Lanka: India’s memorable performances in Sri Lanka so far
The Indian cricket team is all set to take on Sri Lanka for a limited-overs assignment starting from July 18. The teams will play three ODI and as many as T20Is in Sri Lanka. Ahead of the same, we are looking at some memorable knocks and spells by the Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka.
In February 2009, the Indian cricket team posted 332 for the loss of five wickets in an ODI played in Colombo. The match’s hero was Gautam Gambhir, who got the necessary support from former Indian captain MS Dhoni. Gambhir amassed 150 off 147 balls and got involved in a game-changing partnership with Dhoni. Both added 188 runs for the second wicket as Dhoni promoted himself and contributed with 96 off 94. Virender Sehwag was gone for only five, and Dhoni came it. Gambhir, in his innings, hit 14 fours and one six to record his sixth ODI hundred.
It was the Compaq Cup Final in Colombo in 2009. Indian cricket team won the toss and asked the hosts to bowl first. Sachin Tendulkar featured in a 95-stand opening partnership with Rahul Dravid (39) and added 110 runs for the second wicket of the captain Dhoni. After their dismissals, Tendulkar found Yuvrav Singh who went on to add unbeaten 56 runs to finish Indian innings on a high. Meanwhile, Tendulkar smashed 10 fours and one maximum to score 138 off 133. No wonder it was his innings that helped India set a target of 319/5 for the hosts.
It was the first ODI of India’s tour in Sri Lanka, and the hosts were bundled up for 216 runs in the 44th over. Shikhar Dhawan made it look smooth with a blazing ton. The terrific knock saw the southpaw smashing 20 fours and three maximums in his 90-ball 132*. He found an ally in captain Kohli and stitched in unbroken 197 for the second wicket. Kohli remained not out with 82 from 70 balls. Dhawan was at his best from the beginning and did not even spare the like of Malinga. India lost Sharma cheaply, but that did not stop Dhawan.
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli’s 131 came in 96 deliveries in 2017. This time the visitors set a massive target of 375 even after losing Dhawan early. The skipper, along with Rohit Sharma, stabilized the Indian innings and registered a record second-wicket stand of 219. Rohit Sharma scored 104 off 88 balls, and the skipper led the way with 17 fours and two sixes. In the fourth over of the innings, Kohli smashed Vishwa Fernando for three consecutive fours and never stopped his onslaught. He easily brought up his hundred in just 76 balls but ended up being Lasith Malinga’s 300th ODI wicket.
Last on the list is Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 124 off 145. Indians were chasing down 218 runs in an ODI in Pallekele in August 2017. The visitors were reduced to 61/4 with players like Shikhar Dhawan (5), Virat Kohli (3), KL Rahul (17) and Kedar Jadhav (0) back to the pavilion. Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni rose to the occasion and rescued the side. Dhoni remained unbeaten with 67, whereas Rohit Sharma was the main hero for India. His innings were decorated with 16 boundaries and two maximums, even though he started cautiously in the beginning. Rohit Sharma’s first century in Sri Lanka helped India win the match comfortably in the 46th over.
During the Indian Oil Cup final in August 2005, Sri Lanka batted first after winning the toss. Ashish Nehra, former Indian left-arm pacer, gave an early blow to the hosts by picking up the wicket of Sri Lanka skipper Marvan Atapattu for 11 followed by Dilhara Lokuhettige for 9 Kumar Sangakkara for 8 runs. But Sanath Jayasuriya (67) and Mahela Jayawardene (83) had other plans, while Russel Arnold also added a crucial 64. Nehra eventually dismissed both Jayawardene and Arnold, but it was already too late. Despite Nehra’s six wickets for 59 runs, Sri Lanka posted 281/9 and eventually won the match.
The second-best bowling spell came from Jasprit Bumrah in the third ODI of the five-match series in 2017. Sri Lanka decided to bat first, but Bumrah struck at the beginning. Bumrah trapped Niroshan Dickwella for 13 with a deadly yorker and then took the wicket of Kusal Mendis (1). Lahiru Thirimanne was leading Sri Lanka’s fightback, but Bumrah returned to stop him. The last two name in Bumhar’s maiden five-wicket haul were Akila Dananjaya (2) and Milinda Siriwardana (29). Rohit Sharma led with a hundred during the chase, and India won the match by six wickets.
It was the fifth match of the same series, and the visitors were aiming for a whitewash while leading the series already 4-0. Despite winning the toss and batting first, the hosts failed to put up resistance against Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The pacer started by scalping Niroshan Dickwella (2) and then picked up wickets of Dilshan Munaweera (4), Lahiru Thirimanne (67), Milinda Siriwardana (18) and Lasith Malinga (2) to claim his first five-wicket haul in ODIs. It was his brilliance that restricted Sri Lanka to 238. Kohli completed the formality of winning the match by an unbeaten hundred.
Irfan Pathan ran through the Sri Lankan batting line-up in August 2012 and bowled India to victory in the final ODI of the five-match series. Sri Lanka was chasing down 295 runs, but Pathan came up with early breakthroughs. Tillakaratne Dilshan (0), Upul Tharanga (31) were the prey of Pathan. Lahiru Thirimanne tried to put up a fight with 77 but was run out. Pathan returned to deal with the lower order and dismissed Thisara Perera (18), Jeevan Mendis (72), and Sachithra Senanayake (7). His last wicket came in the final ball of the match. Sri Lanka was bowled out for 274.
In the Compaq Cup final, Sachin Tendulkar helped India set 319/5 with his 138. Although it was a massive target in 2009, Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh did not take it lightly. His five wickets for 56 runs restricted the hosts for 273. Sri Lanka got a solid start, and it needed a special Harbhajan Singh delivery to break the opening partnership. He sent Tillakaratne Dilshan (42), followed by Mahela Jayawardene (1). The Lankan lower order tried to fight back when Singh returned to end Thilina Kandamby’s effort. Kandamby (66), Lasith Malinga (0), and Ajantha Mendis (7) were sent in quick succession.