Colombo: Brilliant centuries from skipper Virat Kohli (131) and Rohit Sharma (104) helped India post a mammoth 375/5 in the fourth One-Day International match against Sri Lanka here on Thursday.
It was a good day for Indian batsmen as Kohli returned to form, ending a series of poor scores over the last few matches. The Indian skipper blasted the Sri Lankan bowlers and opener Rohit supported him well.
Both treated the balls on merit and punished the bad deliveries. At one point, Sri Lankan players seemed helpless as Kohli and Rohit started belting the bowlers. But after scoring around 200 runs in 25 overs with nine wickets in hands, India appeared to have lost the plot as three wickets tumbled quickly.
Then Mahendra Singh Dhoni (49 not out) and Manish Pandey (50 not out) got together and added crucial runs to post a challenging total for India.
On the other hand, the hosts struggled despite taking an early wicket in the second over.
Winning the toss, India elected to bat but Shikhar Dhawan (4), who was in his prime form throughout the tour, struggled this morning and went back with just six runs on the board.
Kohli then joined Rohit and the duo forged a 219-run partnership. Kohli completed his century in a blistering 96-ball knock, but was dismissed by pacer Lasith Malinga in the 30th over. Kohli’s innings was laced with 17 boundaries and two sixes.
Unperturbed by Kohli’s exit, Rohit continued the pace of the innings along with Hardik Pandya (19), who was promoted up the order. But soon, while trying to hit the boundaries, the duo fell in the 35th over to Angelo Mathews with scoreboard reading 262/4.
The fall of wickets brought in Lokesh Rahul (7) and Pandey, who tried to steady the innings, but Rahul was sent packing in the 38th over by Akila Dananjaya.
Dhoni, playing his 300th match, then came in the middle and with Pandey sensibly steadied the innings. First, the duo helped India to cross 350-run mark and then shifted gears in the last few overs to finish the proceedings in style. Dhoni slammed five boundaries and one six while Pandey hit five boundaries.
For Sri Lanka, Angelo Mathews was the most successful among the bowlers, scalping two wickets.
Brief scores: India 375/5 (Virat Kohli 131, Rohit Sharma 104; Angelo Mathews 2/24) against Sri Lanka. (IANS)