The eighth game of ICC Champions Trophy saw new-look Sri Lanka produced a remarkable performance with the bat to chase a total of 321 runs posted by India at The Oval. This was Sri Lanka’s highest chase in the Champions Trophy beating their previous best at the same venue against England four years ago. Upul Tharanga replacement Danushka Gunathilaka played well upfront along with Kusal Mendis after the early dismissal of Niroshan Dickwella. The duo added 159 runs set the game for Sri Lanka as Angelo Matthews and Asela Gunaratne steer the side over the line in the 48th over.
It was tough ask for Sri Lanka at the start of the chase as the side had no Upul Tharanga at the top of the order. Niroshan Dickwella was taken out by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the fourth over of the innings. Gunathilaka playing his first game of the competition formed a solid partnership with Kusal Mendis to stabilize the innings and keep scoreboard ticking along nicely. Hardik Pandya was expensive in his early spells as India leaked a lot of runs in the middle overs of the innings. Gunathilaka smoked successive fours to bring up his fourth half century of his career.
Kohli struggled as Hardik Pandya and Ravendra Jadeja conceded more than seven runs an over. Kedhar Jadhav was tidy in his three-over spell but Lankans were quite ahead of the asking rate. Gunathilaka was dismissed for 76 as he was run-out due to terrible mix-up with Mendis. Angelo Matthews came to the crease with Sri Lanka in need of a partnership to steer them over the line. He added 50 odd runs with Kusal Perera to push Sri Lanka a step closer with the side needing 67 runs off 9 overs.
Perera played well and scored 47 runs before walking off the field after suffering from cramps which again proved to be a wise decision. Asela Gunaratne came to the crease to join Matthews in the middle as all-rounder played an aggressive unbeaten cameo of 34 runs to make sure Sri Lanka chased down the score in the penultimate over of the innings.
Earlier in the game, Shikhar Dhawan produced a sublime hundred to see India post 321 runs. Dhawan continued his rich vein of form as he notched up his 10th ton of his career. He added 138 runs with Rohit Sharma for the opening wicket to give the side an ideal start to the innings. Rohit was dismissed for 78 runs by Lasith Malinga. Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh fell for low scores in quick succession to see India placed at 179 for 3 after 33.3 overs.
MS Dhoni came to the crease and played well as he added 92 runs with Dhawan to see India in control to register a big total on the board. Dhawan eventually perished in 44th over after scoring 125 runs off 128 balls as left-hander struck fifteen boundaries and a six in his innings.
Dhoni continued to play his strokes as he scored 63 runs off 52 balls to see India get 321 runs off 50 overs. Kedhar Jadhav also played a nice cameo of 25 runs for India.