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Champions Trophy 2017: Ind vs SL - Turning Point - Gunaratne Seals Important Win

Cricketnext Staff |Cricketnext | Updated: June 9, 2017, 10:30 AM IST
Champions Trophy 2017: Ind vs SL - Turning Point - Gunaratne Seals Important Win

Asela Gunaratne of Sri Lanka is congratulated by team mates after hitting the winning runs to win the second International Twenty20 match between Australia and Sri Lanka. (Getty Images)


Sri Lanka opened their account in the Champions Trophy with an upset win over India on Thursday.

Batting first India made 321, which many thought would be more than enough for a rather inexperienced Sri Lankan team. But the Islanders batted brilliantly, smashing India's bowling and chasing down the target with one over to spare.

It was an important 159-run partnership between Gunathilaka and Mendis, which gave Sri Lanka the momentum, but the two were dismissed in quick succession thanks to some naive running between the wickets.

Then Kusal Perera was forced to retire, meaning despite getting only 1 wicket, Indian bowlers still had a chance to redeem themselves.

This also led to the spotlight being on the rather inexperienced Sri Lankan middle-order, which had so sensationally collapsed in the last game against South Africa.

But Asela Gunaratne - who played and missed the first three balls - ensured that India's rather ordinary bowling was rightly punished.

Gunaratne smashed 34 off just 21 balls, hitting two fours and two sixes to seal the win for Sri Lanka. He was brutal on Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, two of India's best death bowlers.

This knock will give him confidence going ahead into the tournament, and he will have an important role to play if Sri Lanka is to progress beyond the group stages.

First Published: June 9, 2017, 10:29 AM IST

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