8th match, London

India v Sri Lanka

James Gingell

At The Oval, June 8. Sri Lanka won by seven wickets. Toss: Sri Lanka.
It was a day when the mighty were humbled. At the ballot box, the Conservatives fell short of an expected majority; at The Oval, an inexperienced Sri Lanka toppled the idols of India for only the fourth time in their last 18 meetings, pulling off the ground's biggest successful chase. It was also the 150th meeting between the teams, a one-day international record. On a cold, breezy morning, India appeared strong and stable: Sharma hit the first ball to the cover boundary and coasted to a frictionless 78, while Dhawan cut and drove with velvety violence. At 138 without loss in the 25th, it was all going to plan. Then, against the most defensive of attacks, Sharma pulled to fine leg, Kohli nibbled behind for a duck, and Yuvraj Singh was bowled for seven. Dhawan kept chopping away to reach a brilliant 125, his third hundred in all Champions Trophy matches, in which he averaged over 90.

But India were faltering until Dhoni clubbed a 52-ball 63 to help rack up 103 off the last ten, which included 14 full tosses. Sri Lanka needed 322, and Gunathilleke - added to the squad only the day before - led the way with long-levered power, twice nearly flattening his partner Mendis, who was compact and calm. The pair brought Sri Lanka more than halfway to victory but, with Kohli twitchy enough to try his own awkward wobblers, they both ran themselves out: Gunathilleke for a personal-best 76 in the 28th, and Mendis for 89 five overs later, after an excellent throw from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, following through off his own bowling. Still, Sri Lankan belief held firm: Kusal Perera and Mathews - regal despite a dodgy calf - motored to 271, until Perera popped a hamstring. Gunaratne hauled his fourth ball over backward square for six, then all but sealed it with another, an audacious sweep off Bumrah towards the gas-holder, where the Sri Lankan papare band was now drowning out the Indian drummers. All four teams in Group B had two points from two games, turning the last matches into knockouts.
Man of the Match: B. K. G. Mendis

© John Wisden & Co.