Micromax Cup Cricket: India Win ODI Series Against Sri Lanka!

India have won the five-match one day international cricket series  defeating Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the fourth match played in Colombo today. Taking an unassailable lead of 3-1 India is thus set to take home the Micromax Cup in Sri Lanka. The last match to be played in Pallekele on August 4, 2012 is reduced to a formality, but, of course, both teams would like to exit the series positively with a win. 

For the second time in Colombo Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first. They made a solid start with openers Dilshan (42) and Tharanga (51) putting up 91 runs for the first wicket. The Indian pacers were not effective and went wicketless. Thiramanne chipped in well today made 47 runs with able support from Chandimal. Sri Lanka were poised for a huge total crossing 150 in the 31st over with the loss of only two wickets. But the slide happened just then.

Though Indian skipper Dhoni’s blue eyed boy Rohit Sharma was not dropped after two consecutive ducks Manoj Tiwary was brought in. Rahul Sharma who was found guilty in a Mumbai rev party case recently and whose selection in the second match was itself in question was dropped to make way for Tiwary. Basically an attacking batsman, Tiwary is also known for his useful leg break bowling. He was introduced in that crucial moment. He captured the wicket of Chandimal immediately and went on to capture 4 wickets engineering a Sri Lankan collapse. But for some rearguard action by Herath and Malinga Sri Lanka would not have reached a respectable score. The final score of 251/8 was competitive in Lankan home conditions. Ashwin supported Tiwary well with 2 wickets.

Set 252 for a series win India started badly losing Gambhir in the first over. But Sehwag and Kohli took command of the innings and took the score past 50 in the 10th over when Sehwag fell to a brilliant catch by substitute Senanayake for 34 runs. Rohit Sharma came in and failed again playing 14 balls doggedly for just 4 runs. Tiwary could not make a significant contribution with the bat and fell to Mendis for 21 runs. There was some amount of concern with India at 109/4 in the 24th over, but Kohli stood there like a wall and Suresh Raina was in his flourishing form. Kohli went on to score his 14th century (128 not out) and with Raina (58 not out) he made sure India win by 6 wickets with 46 ball remaining at the final score of 255/4.This was Virat Kohli's fifth century in last eight innings and now after Yuvraj Singh, he has got the tag--if Virat scores a century India win!

Sri Lanka was today without the services of wicketkeeper-batsman Sangakkara which was a dampener for then on a must-win match to keep alive in the series. Several lapses on the field added to their woes. Their bowlers also gave out listless performances. The Scorecard:

Virat Kohli was rightfully adjudged the man of the match.