India beats Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in 4th ODI
By AP - COLOMBO
31st July 2012 09:57 PM
Virat Kohli hammered his second century of the series on Tuesday to lead India to a six-wicket win against Sri Lanka and clinch the one-day international series.
Kohli smashed 12 boundaries and a six in scoring 128 not out as India reached 255-4 in 42.2 overs to eclipse Sri Lanka's 251-8 at R. Premadasa Stadium, giving the visitors an unassailable 3-1 lead with one match left to play.
He shared an unbroken 146-run stand with Suresh Raina, who scored 58, to rescue India from difficulty after his team was 109-4 in 24 overs.
Kohli also scored 106 in the first game against Sri Lanka and has five centuries in his past eight ODI matches. He is also the highest run-scorer of the series with 273 runs at an average of 91.
India received an early shock in its chase pace bowler Lasith Malinga bowled opener Gautam Gambhir on the fifth ball of the innings with no runs on the board.
Kohli then joined Virender Sehwag for 52 for the second wicket before Sehwag was brilliantly caught by substitute fielder Sachithra Senanayake off seam bowler Anjelo Mathews.
Rohit Sharma had yet another poor innings with the bat, out for 4 after being trapped lbw by seamer Nuwan Pradeep. He has now scored just nine runs in four innings.
The Sri Lankans let themselves down with some poor catching and fielding. Kohli survived at least one run out chance and was dropped soon after making his century, while Raina was dropped on 19 by captain Mahela Jayawardene.
Earlier, India's decision to call up an extra batsman in Manoj Tiwary at the expense of specialist bowler Rahul Sharma paid off as the legspinner took a career-best four wickets.
Tiwary took the prized wickets of Dinesh Chandimal (28), Mathews (14), Jeewan Mendis (17) and Thisara Perera 2 to finish with figures of 4-61.
Opener Upul Tharanga scored the only half-century for Sri Lanka, which batted first after winning the toss.
He laid a solid foundation, sharing 91 runs for the opening wicket with Tillakaratne Dilshan (42), but Sri Lanka's middle and lower order failed to capitalize on the strong start.
Dilshan miscued a pull shot against seam bowler Ashok Dinda while trying to increase the scoring rate during a batting power play, allowing India captain and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to hold a well-judged catch.
Dilshan hit seven boundaries from 48 deliveries.
Tharanga was stumped off spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin. He faced 73 balls, hit a six and four boundaries.
Lahiru Thirimanne, batting in the No. 3 spot in place of the prolific but injured Kumar Sangakkara, was dropped on 16. He was solid during the rest of his innings, scoring 47 without hitting a single boundary.
Sri Lanka lost its last four wickets for 29 toward the latter stages of its innings, but the ninth-wicket pair of Rangana Herath and Malinga scored 32 off 18 balls to give the home side some, ultimately forlorn, hope of competing against a deep Indian batting lineup.
The final match will be played in Kandy on Saturday.
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