The captain of Sri Lanka, Mahela Jayawardene, hailed the batting performance of the visiting Indians in the ongoing series after the home side lost the 4th ODI.
The Men in Blue won the fourth One Day International by a big margin of six wickets with 46 balls to spare. The match was played at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 and it was the second consecutive defeat suffered by the home team from the visitors in the last four days.
The wicket was a bit slow and the Islander batsmen found it hard to play their shots while batting first and managed 251 runs in the allotted 50 overs. The opener, Upul Tharanga, was the only batsman who impressed with a hard fought 51 off 73 balls as Tillakaratne Dilshan and Lahiru reached forties.
The Blue Shirts hammered 255 runs in 42.2 overs and won the match convincingly as their batsmen applied themselves well during the chase. Virat Kohli continued with his walloping form by thrashing his second ton in the series and Suresh Raina supported him well from the other end with an unbeaten fifty. Virat Kohli plundered unbeaten128 runs off just 119 balls studded with 1 six and 12 sweetly timed fours. The 23-year-old vice captain of the side is the highest scorer in the series so far and has amassed 273 runs at a super average of 91.00, the best of unbeaten 128 with two hundreds.
Sri Lanka managed only 2 wins in their last 10 ODIs against India and the batting of the visitors has covered the weakness in their bowling which has given almost 80 runs in the death overs during the last 10 games they have played.
The skipper of the Lankan Lions, Mahela Jayawardene, praised the strength of the Indian batting which has troubled the home side over the last three years. He appreciated that by saying,
“They have got a good batting line-up. In the last two-three years what we found is to control them we need to pick up wickets and that is what we have been trying to do with five bowlers all the time. I think they win matches with their batting [and] not so much with their bowling so for us to beat them we need to control their batting line-up.”
India had lost four prime wickets after scoring 109 runs in 23.4 overs and the fourth ODI was evenly poised as Suresh Raina joined in with the brave Virat Kohli. Raina survived a huge appeal of caught behind on the second ball of the 25th over bowled by Rangana Herath when the batsman had scored just two runs. The umpire, Dharmasena, turned down the appeal, the Sri Lankan fielders could not digest the decision and in fact the umpire had a word with Dinesh Chandimal who insisted on a positive decision.
The visitors had reached 153 in 32 overs when Raina was dropped by Mahela Jayawardene in the slips on the fourth ball of the following over at 19 and those two lucky escapes for the batsmen were the turning point of the game. Jayawardene described that the wicket of Suresh Raina could have made a difference in the match but still he appreciated the approach of the Indian batsmen in it. He commented,
“They handled those situations better than us. We needed a couple more wickets when they were four down. I thought we got Suresh caught behind but I don’t know how the others felt about it. But that is how the game goes. Things could have probably been different but we move on.”