New Delhi: After missing international cricket for quite some time, Rohit Sharma celebrated his comeback into the Indian team with a historic 264-run knock where he became the first cricketer ever to score two double-centuries in ODI cricket.
As a result of Rohit's magnificent knock, India posted a mammoth total of 404 runs which proved to be too much to handle for the visitors.
Earlier in the innings, Rohit was dropped on 4 by Thisara Perera at third man. But the Mumbai batsman made the best of the chance and lived up to the faith shown by the team management and the skipper himself.
Sri Lanka Innings
Over 43.1 || Score 251/10
It's all over for Sri Lanka, India have registered a huge 153-run win!
Ajantha Mendis was the last man to be dismissed as he attempted a switch hit against Akshar Patel and ended up hitting it straight into the hands of Karn Sharma. So Rohit's individual score was 264 and the Lankan innings was just 13 runs short of it. They never looked in the game and after Rohit's assault, it was a matter of time for the Virat Kohli-led side. They lead the series 4-0 and a whitewash looks quite possible now.
Over 40 || Score 244/9
Sri Lankans were given another double blow, this time by Dhawal Kulkarni in the 39th over of the innings. Kulkarni started his eighth over with a bouncer which Kulasekara hit straight into the hands of Rayudu at midwicket. Two balls later, Kulkarni bowled another short ball which Seekkuge Prasanna hit straight into the hands of Akshar Patel at deep fine leg. The match is now just a formality, and for records, Sri Lanka need 161 runs to win from the next ten overs, with one wicket remaining.
Over 37 || Score 219/7
Sri Lanka took the batting powerplay in the 36th over of the innings. But as it often backfires for teams, Sri Lanka were given a double blow by Dhawal Kulkarni in his seventh over. First he bowled a quick short ball to Thirimanne who hit it straight to Kohli at short midwicket. Two balls later, he bowled a wide bouncer to Perera, who got a faint edge to the keeper.
Over 35 || Score 214/5
After wasting too many balls for no runs, Perera showcased his big-hitting skills in the 34th over of the innings where he hit Karn Sharma for three sixes and a boundary. Sharma conceded 23 runs in that over and it has been a forgettable day for him having conceded 54 runs in 8 overs without a wicket to his name.
Over 33 || Score 188/5
Thirimanne is slowly getting into the groove. He hit a boundary and a six off Akshar Patel's sixth over. Thirimanne is batting on 56 and it's time for Perera to go for his shots as so far he has consumed 13 balls for 2 runs.
Over 30 || Score 167/5
Akshar Patel continued to impress as this time he picked the big wicket of Angelo Mathews. Mathews charged down the wicket off the fourth ball of Akshar Patel's fourth over. Mathews attempted a similar stroke off the next ball, but it was bowled slightly quicker and was stumped! Thisara Perera is the new man in. Not to forget, he dropped Rohit on 4 post which he went on to score 264 runs. The Sri Lankan team management would want Perera to do some scoring to make up for the huge blunder.
Over 25 || Score 133/4
Akshar Patel has also been introduced into the attack. Mathews took a single off Karn Sharma to complete his half-century off 48 balls. Half way down, Sri Lanka are scoring less than six runs per over. These two have added 85 runs for the fifth wicket but an uphill task lies ahead of them with Sri Lanka needing 271 runs off the next 150 balls.
Over 22 || 122/4
Mathews and Thirimanne are trying their best to keep the runs coming. They need to take their chances as spinners are bowling from both ends. While Mathews smashed Karn Sharma for two boundaries in the 20th over of the innings, Thirimanne took the charge in Sharma's next over and hit him for two boundaries. The plan seems to be attacking the youngster. But with 286 runs required from the next 28 overs, Sri Lanka need more than two boundaries every over and these two need to take their chances on a consistent basis.
Over 18 || Score 96/4
After losing the first four wickets in a flurry, Lahiru Thirimanne and skipper Angelo Mathews are in the process of rebuilding the innings. While the required run-rate is soaring with each passing over, Mathews' prority would be not to lose any more wickets in the next five to ten overs, at the same time making sure that runs keep coming.
Over 13 || Score 73/4
First bowling change, as Dhawal Kulkarni has been given the ball. Umesh Yadav and Stuart Binny have given India an excellent start with the ball, as they have send four Sri Lankan batsmen to the pavilion inside the first ten overs. Both the bowlers collected two wickets each.
Over 10 || Score 48/4
While chasing a huge total, Sri Lankan top order has literally got collapsed. In the tenth over bowled by Binny, opener Dilshan got a leading edge of his bat and the ball went straight into the hands of Raina, posted at short covers. Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne are now in the middle. So India are certainly at the drivers seat at the moment.
TM Dilshan c Raina b Binny 34 (33b)
Over 9 || Score 44/3
Big blow to Islanders. Jayawardene Out! Umesh Yadav picked up his second wicket of the match in the ninth over, when he trapped Mahela in front of the wicket and umpire raised his finger without giving it a second thought. Yadav is dead accurate with his line and generating good pace as well.
DPMD Jayawardene lbw b Yadav 2 (5b)
Over 8 || Score 42/2
Binny gives India their second breakthrough, as he gets the better of Chandimal in the sixth over. Chandimal goes for a drive but find a fielder at short covers in the form of Raina, who takes a sharp catch to send the batsman back to the hut. Senior batsman Mahela Jayawardene comes in to join Dilshan in the middle.
LD Chandimal c Raina b Binny 9 (13b)
Over 5 || Score 25/1
Binny and Yadav are bowling at a tight line and not offering much room to the batsmen to free their arms. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dinesh Chandimal are in the middle for the visitors. Though, Dilshan has collected three boundaries in 18 balls that he has faced thus far, he is looking unsettled.
Over 2 || Score 10/1
After putting up a mammoth total in front of Sri Lanka, Umesh Yadav provided his team an early breakthrough in the form of opener Perera. In the third ball off the opening over, Perera went for a pull shot but only managed to get an outside edge and gave a simple catch to Karn Sharma at mid-on. Start Binny is sharing the new ball with Yadav. A poor start for the Lankans.
MDKJ Perera c KV Sharma b Yadav 0 (3b)
Over 50 || Score 404/5
Kulasekara bowled the last over of the innings where Rohit hit one more boundary that took India past the 400-run mark. Rohit was dismissed off the final ball of the innings where hit the ball straight towards Mahela at long off.
It hasn't been a flawless innings from Rohit but it could do wonders to his confidence considering he was making a comeback into the Indian team after August. The entire team, all the fans would be extremely proud of his incredible knock! Well played Rohit!
RG Sharma c Jayawardene b Kulasekara 264 (173b)
Over 49 || Score 396/4
Rohit Sharma continued his swashbuckling play where he scored a boundary off Perera and reached 250 runs. Incredible hitting from the right-hander! He moves to 258 by the end of 49 overs! Uthappa is batting on 14.
Over 48: Score 382/4
Rohit slammed Eranga for a six in the 47th over of the innings and broke the record for the highest score in ODIs – 219 scored by Virender Sehwag against West Indies in 2011. Rohit is batting on 246 and he is about to create yet another record – an individual score of 250 runs in ODIs!!
Over 43 || Score 297/4
Raina was the next batsman to be dismissed as he made room for himself off a Mathews delivery and launched it over covers, but Mahela held on to a good catch at sweeper cover to end his innings. Robin Uthappa is the new man in but it's Rohit Sharma who is dealing in boundaries at the moment. He is batting on 174 and his going for his strokes eyeing a record feat – to become the only batsman in history of ODIs to have scored two double centuries.
Over 40 || Score 275/3
India lost their third wicket in the most unfortunate manner when Virat Kohli was run out at the score of 66. Kohli hit a ball from Mathews towards wide of long on, took a quick single, turned for the second one, stopped for a second and that cost him his wicket. It's the end of a fantastic 202-run partnership for the third wicket. Suresh Raina is the new man in while Rohit remains unbeaten on 154.
Over 36 || Score 232/2
Soon after reaching his century, Rohit accelerated the pace of the innings and is currently batting on 143! He already has a double ton in ODIs to his name and it's an excellent opportunity for him to add one more to the list. Virat Kohli on the other hand is batting on 47. He is giving Rohit most of the strike as he seems to be hitting boundaries at well. On the other hand, it has been some extremely poor bowling from the Lankan bowlers, who are in no sort of rhythm. A lot was expected from Mendis but he has conceded 41 runs from his five overs so far.
Over 32|| Score 186/2
Rohit Sharma made the best of the dropped chance earlier in the innings and went on to score his fifth ODI century. He took a single towards deep square leg off Eranga's delivery and reached the three-figure mark off exactly 100 balls. The partnership is now worth 127 runs and with Kohli batting on 38, India are all set to post another huge score.
Over 30 || Score 169/2
With both these batsmen set, Kohli took the batting powerplay in the 30th over of the innings. Rohit immediately changed gears and scored two boundaries and a six in the Kulasekara over where he conceded 16 runs. India have done pretty well in the powerplay right throughout the series and it is likely to continue with these two now playing shots with ease. The pair has also added 110 runs for the third wicket. Rohit is batting on 93.
Over 25 || Score 122/2
After a shaky start, Rohit Sharma reached his half-century off 72 balls in the 24th over of the innings. He was given a life on 4, and he should ensure that he converts it into nothing less than a century. Virat Kohli, on the other hand, is playing fantastic shots on a consistent basis. Mathews should think differently and try and get atleast one of them dismissed. The third-wicket partnership has reached 63 runs. 33 runs were scored in the last five overs.
Over 20 || Score 89/2
Spin was introduced in the 18th over of the innings and Kohli and Sharma have so far added unbeaten 30 runs for the third-wicket partnership. Ajantha Mendis is yet to be introduced into the attack and it would be interesting to see what sort of impact can he make in the match. Two of his top five bowling performances have come against India.
Over 15 || 70/2
Since Virat Kohli's arrival, Rohit Sharma has played some fine strokes. As these two have done on numerous occasions in the past, India need them to stitch a big partnership. Angelo Mathews would know that he needs to dismiss these two as soon as possible if the Lankans entertain any chances of dominating the match.
Over 13 || 59/2
Eranga bowled a gem of a delivery to get rid of Ambati Rayudu. It was a length ball which was pitched on middle-stump and it moved away uprooting Rayudu's off-stump! Eranga has been the most impressive bowler for Sri Lanka today and he would have picked a wicket in his very first over had Perera held on to the catch. Skipper Virat Kohli is the new man in. The run-scoring has slowed down since the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane.
Over 10 || Score 46/1
Angelo Mathews got the first breakthrough for his side when he dismissed Rahane for 28 runs. Rahane was looking to play down the leg side, missed the line and the replays suggested it would have gone on to hit the top of the stumps. Rahane was looking in some superb form before being dismissed. Ambati Rayudu has been once again sent to bat at number three. Sri Lanka have managed to contain the runs after India got off to a flier!
Over 5 || Score 24/0
It could have been the end of Rohit Sharma's innings had the fielder at third man held on to a sitter. Sharma charged down the wicket off the third ball of Shaminda Eranga's first over, got a leading edge which went straight to Thisara Perera at third man who grassed it! That would only add to Sri Lanka's woes. Rahane has looked confident at the crease so far.
Over 1 || Score 12/0
Ajinkya Rahane has got India off to a flier. In the first over bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara, the right-hander smashed him for three boundaries. While first two boundaries were scored on the leg side, the third was driven beautifully through covers. Confident start for India, Rahane has made his intentions very clear already.
Toss: Virat Kohli has won the toss and India will bat first.
India would be high on confidence after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead after the first three matches. India have made three changes as Rohit Sharma, Karn Sharma and Stuart Binny have come in for Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Rohit Sharma, who has missed international cricket of late due to injury would be keen to impress the selectors and show why he deserves to be a part of the Indian squad for the forthcoming Australia tour as well as the ICC World Cup.
Sri Lanka would on other hand would play for their pride as they haven't managed to put any sort of fight so far in the series. Apart from Mahela Jayawardene, none of the senior players have managed to score big knocks. Kumar Sangakkara has been rested.
Even in the bowling department, absence of Lasith Malinga is something which has hurt them terribly as most of the Indian batsmen have found back their momentum.
AM Rahane, RV Uthappa (wk), AT Rayudu, V Kohli (c), RG Sharma, SK Raina, STR Binny, AR Patel, KV Sharma, UT Yadav, DS Kulkarni
Sri Lankan Squad:
TM Dilshan, MDKJ Perera, LD Chandimal (wk), DPMD Jayawardene, AD Mathews (c), HDRL Thirimanne, NLTC Perera, S Prasanna, KMDN Kulasekara, RMS Eranga, BAW Mendis