Dubai: It was Sri Lanka day and a shocking day for India and its billions of cricket fans at Champions Trophy. Sri Lanka demonstrated a superb run chase to stun India and keep alive their Champions Trophy challenge as Kusal Mendis inspired a famous seven-wicket victory over the holders on Thursday.
Chasing a 322 runs target to avoid a second successive Group B defeat, Sri Lanka powered to a memorable triumph at The Oval thanks to key contributions from Mendis (89), Danushka Gunathilaka (76) and captain Angelo Mathews (52).
Sri Lanka defied the odds to win with eight balls to spare and they can qualify for the semifinals if they beat Pakistan in their final group match in Cardiff on June 12.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan led the India charge with a blistering 125 as the holders piled up 321 for six.
After scoring 68 in India’s 124-run victory against Pakistan in their Group B opener, Dhawan overpowered the Sri Lanka attack with another swaggering display at The Oval.
The 31-year-old hit 15 fours and one six in his 128-ball innings, receiving strong support from fellow opener Rohit Sharma (78) and MS Dhoni (63).
India’s total was the highest of the tournament so far, surpassing the 319 for three they amassed against Pakistan.
With plenty of cloud cover over south London, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews opted to bowl first after winning the toss.
Mathews must have wondered if that was such a wise move when Lasith Malinga served up a generous offering with the first ball, a short and wide delivery that Sharma caressed to the boundary.
Dhawan was even more ruthless, contemptuously swiping Suranga Lakmal to the fence three times in four balls in the sixth over.