India crash-land

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews (centre) celebrates the dismissal of India skipper Virat Kohli with teammates in Kingston on Tu

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews (centre) celebrates the dismissal of India skipper Virat Kohli with teammates in Kingston on Tu

Upul Tharanga plundered the highest individual score in a one-day international in the Caribbean as Sri Lanka steamrollered India by 161 runs in the third match of the tri-series at Sabina Park on Tuesday.
Replying to Sri Lanka’s mammoth 348/1 in their 50 overs, in which Tharanga made an unbeaten 174 and Mahela Jayawardene 107, World Cup and Champions Trophy holders India were dismissed for just 187 in the 45th over.
India looked a pale shadow of the side that had gone unbeaten in lifting the Champions Trophy in England just over a week earlier. The dismissal of Kohli, standing in for the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, hooking his Sri Lankan counterpart Angelo Mathews to long-leg, virtually ended the match as a contest as India fell to 57/3 in the 16th over.
Earlier, Jayawardene played a typically classy innings in compiling his first ODI hundred for two years and his 16th in all in a 213-run opening stand in which he outscored Tharanga.
But ultimately it was Tharanga’s day as he timed the ball sweetly and caned the lacklustre Indian bowling to all parts of the ground with dismissive authority.
He brought up his 13th ODI hundred off 124 deliveries with 11 fours and finished with 19 fours and three sixes in his 174 off just 159 balls.
A disciplined Sri Lankan bowling attack never allowed the Indians a chance to threaten the daunting target.
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath was the most successful bowler with 3/37 while Sachithra Senanayake and Lasith Malinga claimed two apiece.
India are now in a position, where they need to win the remaining two games to qualify for the final.
“It was a reality check for us, we have to analyse what we did wrong. We have two more games to go. This is going to hurt the guys a little bit,” Kohli, leading the side in place of injured skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said.
Kohli said the bowlers let them down in the match and a slow start in the chase too was responsible for the debacle. “It was a tough day at the office. We were not up to the mark with the ball. The Sri Lankans batted really well, and we did not. To chase down 349, you need a quick start, we were not able to do that, that did not give us momentum,” he said.
India scored just 28 runs in the first 10 overs and lost opener Rohit Sharma.
Asked about the need for sending a pinch-hitter while chasing the total, Kohli said, “The way we have been batting, I don’t think we needed to consider that option. It didn’t happen today.”
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews praised the opening duo of Upul Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardene for setting the platform for the victory with their 213-run stand. “We needed that, especially after losing the toss, we were on the back foot. Mahela showed his class. Upul struggled a bit initially but batted through and was brilliant later, ” he said.
Man of the match Tharanga said he and Jayawardene deliberately played cautiously initially to ensure a good start for their side. “We needed to get a start because we lost the toss on a sticky wicket. The first 10 overs were crucial. They (India) bowled well upfront. So we had to ride that, and then we put the pressure back on them,” he said.

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