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India vs Sri Lanka 4th ODI: Gambhir, Kohli Steer India To Easy Win

By on December 24, 2009

India 317 for 3 (Gambhir 150*, Kohli 107, Lakmal 2-55) beat Sri Lanka 315 for 6 (Tharanga 118, Sangakkara 60, Zaheer 2-49) by seven wickets…

Brilliant tons from Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli helped India register a comfortable seven-wicket victory and clinch the series 3-1 against Sri Lanka.

India lost their first wicket in the form of Virender Sehwag early, chasing a massive target of 316.

India seemed to be in real trouble when they lost their second wicket in master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.

However, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli managed to steady the boat after the early jitters.

Both Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli completed their centuries to put India on top against Sri Lanka.

When Virat Kohli departed, India were in total command and it was just a matter of time before they achieved the target with 11 balls to spare.

Upul Tharanga hit a superb century to help Sri Lanka post a challenging total in the fourth one-day international against India in Kolkata.

Tharanga anchored the Sri Lankan innings with a nicely-paced 118, while Kumar Sangakkara made a fine 60 as the visitors reached an imposing 315 for six in a match they must win to keep their hopes of victory alive in the five-game series.

India began well, conceding a measly nine from five immaculate overs sent down by new-ball bowlers Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, their efforts backed up by a solid performance in the field.

But Tillakaratne Dilshan broke the shackles by driving Nehra through the covers in the sixth over for the first boundary and from then on India gradually lost control.

Nehra, who had dropped Tharanga on seven when he failed to hold on to a fairly straightforward return catch, went some way to atoning for that error by snaring Dilshan early, Virat Kohli completing the dismissal with a smart catch at long leg.

Sanath Jayasuriya, batting at three, started with a boundary to fine leg before also departing cheaply, edging Zaheer to Tendulkar at slip.

But then Sangakkara, who was handed reprieve before he was even off the mark when Harbhajan Singh squandered a simple chance at third man, and Tharanga built a solid base.

Tharanga, who had upped the tempo by hitting Ishant Sharma for five boundaries in the paceman’s first over, continued to bat steadily alongside his captain.

The pair scored easily off the spinners and struck timely boundaries as they added 126 for the third wicket, Tharanga reaching his seventh ODI century in the process.

Sangakkara too reached his half-century, but the partnership was ended when the Sri Lanka captain was smartly stumped by Dinesh Karthik as he got too far out and across while attempting to help a Harbhajan delivery down to fine leg.

Tharanga’s stay was ended by Zaheer soon after, but Sri Lanka’s middle-order kicked on.

Debutant Thissara Perera, who replaced Angelo Mathews in the squad and who made the final eleven only because of an injury to Chanaka Welegedara during practice just before the start, chipped in with a 14-ball 31, while cameos from Mahela Jayawardene (33) and Thilina Kandamby (23 not out from 15) helped Sri Lanka to a strong total.

Four deliveries remained in Sri Lanka’s innings when play was stopped after one of the light towers failed, but Sri Lanka added eight more to their total when play resumed to finish on a high.

Teams:

India: V Sehwag*, SR Tendulkar, G Gambhir, V Kohli, SK Raina, KD Karthik†, RA Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, A Nehra, I Sharma.

Sri Lanka: WU Tharanga, TM Dilshan, KC Sangakkara*†, DPMD Jayawardene, SHT Kandamby, CK Kapugedera, S Randiv, KMDN Kulasekara, BAW Mendis, SL Malinga, NLTC Perera.

Source: ESPN Cricket

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