Rohit Sharma became the 1st man to hit 5 hundreds in a single World Cup while KL Rahul hit his maiden World Cup century as India defeated Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in their final league match of the 2019 Cricket World Cup at Leeds on Saturday.
Chasing 265, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul dominated Sri Lanka’s bowling attack to add 189 for the first wicket off 30.1 overs. The day, once again belonged to Rohit Sharma, who scored his 3rd successive hundred in this World Cup, his 6th in World Cups and his 27th in an illustrious ODI career.
Rohit Sharma also became the 4th batsman and the 2nd Indian to score 600 runs in a single edition of the World Cup. Besides, he broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record for most runs at the end of the league stage of any World Cup.
Rohit Sharma now has 647 runs from 8 innings (one of India’s games was washed out) and is within touching distance of Sachin Tendulkar’s record 673 runs in the 2003 edition.
Rohit’s fine form helped India ace what many thought could be a tricky chase against a Sri Lankan bowling line-up which stunned England last month. But Rohit Sharma, who had scored 102 against England and 104 against Bangladesh before this game, was up for the task.
Sri Lanka bowled poorly and without imagination and Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul were in no mood to show any mercy. Rohit hit his 10th hundred in the last 365 days and bullied the Sri Lankans with his wide range of shots.
Meanwhile, KL Rahul was unstoppable. Criticised for his poor shot selection, KL Rahul improved his game against Bangladesh when he scored 77. Against Sri Lanka, he was far more disciplined and played more freely when he got his eyes in to score his 2nd hundred in one-day internationals.
By the time Rohit Sharma departed for 103, it was only a matter of time before India notched up their 7th win of the tournament. They finished the group stage with 7 wins, 1 defeat and 1 game which was washed out. India have 15 points from 9 matches.
Earlier, after winning the toss Sri Lanka opted to bat. Jasprit Bumrah did the early damage with 2 quick wickets. Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera were sent back inside the first 8 overs while Kusal Medis fell to Ravindra Jadeja in his 1st over.
And when Hardik Pandya removed the dangerous Avishka Fernando in the 12th over, Sri Lanka were reeling at 55 for 4.
However, Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne added 124 for the 5th wicket to haul Sri Lanka to a healthy total. While Lahiru Thirimanne fell for 53, Angelo Mathews went on to score his 3rd ODI hundred – all his 3 hundreds have come against India.
Sri Lanka finished with only 3 wins from 9 games and will go back home disappointed. India will move on to the semi-finals which will be played on July 9 and July 11.