Rohit’s ton helps India to seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka

Bulawayo, May 30 (IANS) Rohit Sharma cracked an unbeaten ton, his second successive, and Virat Kohli smahed 82 as India defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in their One-day International match of the tri-series here Sunday.

Sharma, Man of the Match, made an unbeaten 101 and his 154-run stand for the third wicket with Kohli guided India to the target of 243 in 43.3 overs with the loss of only three wickets at the Queens Sports Club.

It was a much improved performance by India, who suffered a shocking six-wicket defeat against Zimbabwe here Friday.

Indian bowlers also put up a clinical performance by restricting Sri Lanka to 242 in 49.5 overs despite solid half-centuries from skipper Tillekaratne Dilshan (61) and Angelo Mathews (75).

India’s left-arm spin-duo Pragyan Ojha (2/44), in place of injured Vinay Kumar, and Ravindra Jadeja (2/49) bolstered the attack in the middle overs while medium pacer Ashok Dinda bagged two for 44 on the pitch that was made bowler friendly by some overnight rains.

Sri Lanka made a cautious start after Upul Tharanga (1) and Thilan Samaraweera (19) were back in the pavilion for just 39 runs on board. Dilshan and Matthews stabilised the innings with their 57-run stand.

Dilshan’s 84-ball knock was studded with four fours and one six but he was run out in the 25th over with an accurate throw from Sharma from square leg.

Matthews then completed a 78-ball fifty to keep Sri Lanka on course for a 250 plus target but a mis-timed ugly heave across the line to Umesh Yadav saw his off-stump knocked back.

Thisara Perera came up with a cameo of 32 from 23 balls as Sri Lanka achieved a respectable total. An inspired last over from Dinda saw Sri Lanka lose three wickets in five balls to be bundled out.

Indians were in no hurry and after the early dismissals of Dinesh Karthik (18) and Murali Vijay (14), Kohli and Sharma held their nerves to build a strong partnership.

Kohli was patient during his 92-ball stay hitting just four fours while Sharma struck six fours and two sixes during his 100-ball unbeaten stay.