India thrashed Sri Lanka by 317 runs in their third ODI in Thiruvananthapuram.
Not only did it surpass India’s previous biggest winning margin in ODI cricket – the 257 runs they beat Bermuda by in the 2007 World Cup, but it surpassed the previous record in this format of the game.
New Zealand had beaten Ireland by 290 runs in a tri-nation tournament that also featured Scotland, but that record has now been erased from the history books.
Having already won the series, the result gave India the whitewash, but for Sri Lanka, it was a dismal day, one they will want to forget in a hurry.
India won the toss and chose to bat first on what was a good batting track.
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill gave them a good start, putting on 95 for the first wicket in less than 16 overs before Rohit was dismissed for 42.
That brought Virat Kohli to the crease to join Gill, and the pair formed a partnership that took the match away from the tourists. They added 131 for the second wicket, scoring more than a run a ball, with Gill reaching his second ODI century (his first had come against Zimbabwe last August) before he was dismissed for 116. His innings lasted 97 balls and featured 2 sixes and 14 fours.
Kohli, though, was in irrepressible form, and he continued to attack the Sri Lankan bowlers, this time in the company of Shreyas Iyer. Their stand was worth 108 before Iyer fell in the 46th over for 38.
Both KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav perished chasing quick runs, but Kohli was unbeaten at the end on 166. He faced 110 balls and struck 8 sixes and 13 fours.
He had helped his side post a massive 390/5 from their 50 overs.
Any hopes that Sri Lanka had of getting anywhere close to that in their reply evaporated inside the first 12 overs, as they slumped to 39/6, with Mohammed Siraj claiming four wickets and a run out.
They were finally dismissed for 73 in the 22nd over with only three of their batters getting into double figures.
Siraj finished with 4 -32, whilst there were two wickets each for Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav.
Key Talking Points
Kohli continues to set more records
That was Kohli’s second ODI of the series, having made 113 in the first match in Guwahati.
It was his 46th ODI century in all, and he is now just three short of the record of Sachin Tendulkar.
He has now passed Tendulkar’s record of 20 ODI home centuries (they briefly shared it), and he now has 10 ODI centuries against Sri Lanka. No player in the history of the format has as many against a single opponent.
Gill impresses again
Gill has been steadily enhancing his claims for a starting place for India in their World Cup squad, and this was another demonstration as to why he is ahead of rivals like Ishan Kishan in the selectors’ thinking.
Although the quality of the opposition must be taken into account, the fact that he scores his runs quickly is also an asset – something that has become something of an Achilles’ Heel for India at the top of an innings in white ball cricket in recent years.
Siraj Cuts through top order
On any other day, Siraj would have earned Player of the Match honours, for the way that he cut through the Sri Lankan top order, accounting for four of the five leading batters with the ball, and then adding a run-out to his statistics. In the end, he had to take second place behind Kohli, but that was a convincing display, and, in the continued absence of the injured Jasprit Bumrah, he may be ready to assume the role of lead Indian strike bowler in this format.
Dismal Sri Lanka
For all the excellence of Kohli, Gill and Siraj on the day, this was a dismal performance by Sri Lanka, and it has been a thoroughly disappointing series for them overall.
They had been competitive in the T20I series, but they appear well off the pace when it comes to the ODI format, and it is easy to see why they are going to have to come through the qualifying competition if they want to be involved in the World Cup.
On the evidence of this match their supporters cannot have a good deal of confidence that they can manage it.
They appear weak in both batting and bowling, and their morale is likely to be at an all-time low after such a trouncing.
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