In their battle for pride on the final day of the league stages of the ICC World Cup 2019, the Lankan middle-order batters have done their bid of job against India at the Old Trafford, Manchester. In their final match of the tournament, former Lankan skipper and their most experienced batsman Angelo Mathews showed his class with a sensational performance after the India bowlers dented the opposition early in the first innings. Mathews scored a phenomenal hundred and compiled an important 124-run partnership along with Lahiru Thirimanne, to help Sri Lanka finish with an imposing first innings total on the scoreboard.
Bumrah’s double strike leaves Lankans reeling
Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and opted to bat first because of the wicket being a used one and it will definitely slow down as the game progresses. However, his own decision went against him as Sri Lanka got off to a horrible start. Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah removed Karunaratne in just the fourth over of the game to provide his team with the early breakthrough. In his fourth over, Bumrah also got the better of Kusal Perera to put the Lankan team on the backfoot quite early in the innings.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli was taking decisions and they were turning out to be gold. He brought left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja into the attack after the first 10 overs and he picked his first wicket of this World Cup in his very first over as MS Dhoni removed the bails instantly to send Kusal Mendis back into the pavilion. All-rounder Hardik Pandya then dismissed Sri Lanka’s best batsman so far in the tournament, Avishka Fernando, with a beautiful slower ball to leave the Lankans reeling at 55 for 4.
Mathews and Thirimanne rack 124-run stand
After these early jitters, the experienced duo comprising of Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne joined hands to bail their team out of the troublesome situation. Both the batters showed great amount of composure and temperament to do the repair work. The duo stitched a fabulous partnership of 124 runs before Thirimanne got out in the 38th over after scoring a vital 68-ball 53. Left-arm leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav picked up his first wicket of the day with Thirimanne’s dismissal in his ninth over.
Even after losing his partner, the well-set Mathews never lost his focus and notched up an amazing century, third of his ODI career. Mathews composed a sensational knock of 113 runs off 128 balls that included of 10 fours and 2 sixes before getting dismissed by Bumrah in the 49th over. However, before getting out, he stitched a significant stand of 74 runs along with Dhananjaya de Silva for the sixth wicket, to guide Sri Lanka towards 264 for 7 in their quota of 50 over.
De Silva remained unbeaten till the end at the score of 29 runs off 36 balls. For India, Bumrah was the pick of the bowlers, picking three crucial wickets along with an impressive economy, while the other bowlers also lended him some valuable support.
Sri Lanka 264 for 7 in 50 overs (Angelo Mathews-113, Lahiru Thirimanne-53; Jasprit Bumrah 3/37, Ravindra Jadeja 1/40) vs India.