Hapless Sri Lanka crushed by Sharma’s brutal 264

2014-11-14 00:00

INDIA’S Rohit Sharma plundered an amazing 264 to set up an easy 153-run victory over Sri Lanka in the fourth one-day international at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, yesterday.

Sri Lanka managed a credible 251, but it was still 13 runs shy of Sharma’s score.

Captain Angelo Mathews top-scored with 75, and Lahiru Thirimanne added 59, but the visitors were never really in the hunt, as Dhawal Kulkarni (4-34) led a fiery Indian attack to another triumph with nearly seven overs in hand.

Earlier, Sharma’s heroics steered India to 404 for five after opting to bat.

Sharma took full toll of an uninspired and flat Sri Lanka attack, as he flayed 33 fours and nine sixes in his 173-ball stay at the crease. The visitors had no answer to his power and intent — though, to be fair, they did not seem interested looking for solutions — as the batsman brutalised his way to the highest individual ODI score of all times.

Sharma fell on the final delivery of the innings, going for another maximum off Nuwan Kulasekara, but was caught by a running Mahela Jayawardene on the boundary.

Sharma was gifted a life when he had only four, heaving Shaminda Erange down third man’s throat, but Thisara Perera spilt a sitter, with disastrous consequenses. The only other contribution worth mentioning was the 66 from Virat Kohli, but Sharma’s effort overshadowed every aspect of the game.

The Sri Lankans — having been lacklustre in their previous three games — again looked as if they’d rather be anywhere else than on this tour.

Mathews was the only bowler who deserved a footnote — he conceded only 44 runs off his eight overs, and bagged the wickets of Ajinkya Rahane (26) and Suresh Raina (11). India have already secured the five-match series 3-0.

Scores in brief: India 404 for 5 (Rohit 264, Kohli 66) beat Sri Lanka 251 (Mathews 75, Thirimanne 59, Kulkarni 4-34) by 153 runs.

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