<
>

Gunathilaka, Mendis power Sri Lanka in record chase

Danushka Gunathilaka tended to pull off the front foot ICC

Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis powered the highest successful run chase in Champion's Trophy history as their 159-run stand for the second wicket helped Sri Lanka edge past India, who had posted a mammoth 321, by seven wickets at Kennington Oval on Thursday.

India, put in to bat first on a lively surface, were off to a solid start with openers, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, adding a 138-run stand upfront. The platform propelled India to a massive target, which if Sri Lanka faltered against, would put them out of the competition. They didn't, and Gunathilaka, Mendis ensured that they provided a platform which made it possible to scale the heights of their opponents. Gunathilaka played aggressor and drove imperiously down the ground, while Mendis scored rotated the strike.

Their 159-run stand for the second wicket wasn't quite chanceless - both saw difficult chances go down but they made the most of the reprieve and capitalized. Gunathilaka finally departed in the 28th over, for a 72-ball 76, while Mendis followed five-overs later for a 93-ball 89. The duo scored at 6.86 runs in the 23.1 overs that they batted together. Their heroics gave Sri Lanka the momentum required to seal the deal with 8 balls to spare.