By Ayyaz Malik
India inspired Rohit Sharma, demolished Sri Lanka-yet again. This short tour has been nothing short of a disaster for the Sri Lankan’s, slumped to a fourth heavy defeat in a row. India changed their opening batting line up for this game and Robbin Utthappa also came in to the side.
Sri Lanka must have been glad to see the back of Shikar Dawan, Dawan has had a brilliant series, scoring a hundred and two fifties. As impressive of a feat that is (Dawan’s run scoring) his replacement at the top of the order Rohit Sharma scored nearly the same amount of runs in one match than what Shikar Dawan did in three.
Sharma who is captain of the Mumbai Indians, scored a quite astonishing 264. The Mumbai Indian’s skipper also broke the highest score in one day internationals in the process. The 27 year old Sharma eclipsed the previous record of 219, scored by former team mate Virender Sehwag by some distance.
Rohit Sharma hit 33 fours and 9 sixes in this mammoth knock, as Sri Lanka’s bowlers were put to the sword-yet again. India scored a massive 404-4, with Sharma almost single handedly taking his side to that total. To just give you an example of the ‘brutality’ Sri Lanka’s bowlers faced, it took Sharma just 15 balls to get to his fifth fifty. Amazingly India’s fifth wicket partnership was 128 with Robin Utthappa who was at the non-strikers end witnessing some of this carnage, only scoring 16 of those runs.
Sri Lanka knowing they have to produce a much improved batting performance to stand any chance of victory in this ‘dead rubber’ contest, got their innings off to a poor start. The Sri Lankan’s were 48-4, and on the verge of yet another embarrassment.
To be fair to Angelo Matthews’ men, they did put up a fight some form of fight from that point on wards. Captain Matthews lead from the front with a battling 75, the Sri Lankan skipper was supported well by Lahiru Thirimanne who scored 59. The pair put up some resistance for the fifth wicket, and the fifth wicket partnership was worth 118.
That partnership was eventually broken. Akshar Patel broke this stand by having Matthews stumped by Robin Utthappa, sadly for Sri Lanka the game seemed up for them. Thisara Perrera and Thrimane though didn’t want to give this game up without a fight
The sixth wicket pair put on a ‘battling’ 52 for the sixth – but when Kulkharni had Thirimanne caught at slip by Virat Kohli for 59, Sri Lanka’s resistance had finally wilted. The last four Sri Lankan wickets fell for 33 runs. Sadly for Sri Lanka the top order of their batting failed and so did the bottom. The story of their tour is they have lost wickets in clumps- and that hasn’t changed on the evidence of this performance either.
India must be enthused they way their side is playing right before the world cup, where as Sri Lanka’s coaching staff have cause for concern with the way the side is playing. Hopefully for the sake of cricket fans, Sri Lanka suffered a ‘blip’ on this tour and should be fine for the world cup. The world cup will start on the 14th February with Australia and New Zealand set to host cricket’s showpiece.