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  Sports   Cricket  08 Jun 2017  ICC Champions Trophy, India vs SL: Dhawan scores century as India set up SL target of 322

ICC Champions Trophy, India vs SL: Dhawan scores century as India set up SL target of 322

AP
Published : Jun 8, 2017, 7:33 pm IST
Updated : Jun 9, 2017, 12:01 am IST

Dhawan reached his first ODI century in 18 months with his 13th boundary, a cut behind point.

Shikhar Dhawan's 125 helped India post 321-6 in their ICC Champions Trophy game against Sri Lanka.(Photo: AP)
 Shikhar Dhawan's 125 helped India post 321-6 in their ICC Champions Trophy game against Sri Lanka.(Photo: AP)

London:  Defending champion India used another brilliant start by Rohit Sharma and century-maker Shikhar Dhawan to post an imposing 321-6 against Sri Lanka in Champions Trophy cricket at The Oval on Thursday.

Sharma and Dhawan each got off the mark with boundaries through point and combined for 138, just four days after sharing 136 in a big opening win against Pakistan.

 

Returning captain Angelo Mathews won the toss for Sri Lanka, which needs to win to stay in semifinals contention, and elected to field in ideal bowling conditions under gray clouds. But Sharma and Dhawan absorbed everything Sri Lanka threw at them, and stuck to the team formula: A cautious first 10 overs, and surge through the middle overs, to set up a big finale.

After 10 overs they scored only 48, keeping to India's average since the 2015 Cricket World Cup, then loosened up.

Sharma brought up his fifty and the 100-run stand by walloping medium-pacer Thisara Perera to deep square leg, where the ball slipped through Asela Gunaratne's hands and over the boundary for a six. Sharma followed with another six in the same direction in the same over.

 

The century stand was their third straight, dating to January 2016 and a win over Australia in Sydney. It was also their fourth in seven innings over the last two Champions Trophies. Two other innings were half-centuries.

Sharma's third six was over long leg off Lasith Malinga, and when he tried a repeat off the next ball, he got under it too much and was caught for 78 off 79 balls.

Dhawan was on 51 at the time, and he moved on to his 10th one-day international century, making up for the loss of captain Virat Kohli for a duck, and Yuvraj Singh for 7.

With Singh in, India scored only 13 runs in five overs, but his exit brought in Mahendra Singh Dhoni and another charge.

 

Dhawan reached his first ODI century in 18 months with his 13th boundary, a cut behind point.

He and Dhoni combined for 82 before Dhawan mistimed a slow, wide ball outside off by Malinga and hit straight to long on. His 125 off 128 balls included 15 boundaries and a six.

Dhawan's last five scores against Sri Lanka, over three years, read 94-113-79-91-125, but few torment the Sri Lankans more than the great Dhoni, who averages 62 against them, and against whom he has plundered nearly a quarter of his 9,300-plus ODI runs.

He lived up to his average again, with a superb 63 off 52 balls, until he was caught on the boundary in the final over. He whacked seven boundaries and two sixes.

 

Kedar Jadhav piled on the misery at the end with 25 off 13 balls. The skies were still gray.

Tags: shikhar dhawan, ms dhoni, icc champions trophy
Location: United Kingdom, England, London