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Powered by half-centuries from Danushka Gunathilaka (76 off 72) and Kusal Mendis (89 off 93), Sri Lanka stunned defending champions India in Match 8 of the ICC Champions Trophy on Thursday at the Kennington Oval, London.
With this win, Sri Lanka kept themselves alive in the tournament overhauling India's total of 321 for six with seven wickets in hand and eight balls remaining. This also became the highest successful chase in Champions Trophy history.
Shikhar Dhawan scored his 10th ODI hundred scoring 125 while Rohit Sharma (78 off 79) and MS Dhoni (63 off 52) registered half-centuries, but India were let down in the bowling department with Bhuvneshwar Kumar being the only wicket-taker in the match for his team.
After being put into bat, Rohit started the Indian innings with a well-timed drive off a wide delivery from Lasith Malinga. Shikhar Dhawan earned himself a boundary in the next over bowled by Suranga Lakmal before the duo settled in, handing India a watchful start.
Dhawan went on to earn back-to-back boundaries off Lakmal and India reached their fifty by the 11th over. Rohit then upped the ante with two sixes in one Thisara Perera over to reach his fifty. Dhawan got to his fifty drilling a length ball towards long-off off Malinga, but in the same over, Rohit was caught in the deep off a short ball.
The back of length ploy was used by Malinga against Rohit and despite being hit for a six of a top edge, the Sri Lankan persisted and got the reward. The opening wicket association yielded 138 runs.
For Sri Lanka, after the early loss of Niroshan Dickwella, their young guns Gunathilaka and Mendis put on a magnificent 159-run stand in just 23.1 overs at a run-rate of 6.86. Mendis has been earmarked for big things and he showed his class while opener Gunathilaka, coming in as a late replacement for injured Chamara Kapugedara, justified his selection.
The duo started slowly playing out India's opening bowlers. They did not go for any big shots and rotated the strike well. Aided by the pace, they managed to break free with the odd boundary here and there. Gunathilaka looked in terrific touch pulling Umesh Yadav for a six and then drove the same bowler with confidence through extra cover for a four. By the 11th over, Sri Lanka had crossed the 50-run mark.