Ace batsman Rohit Sharma became the first cricketer on the planet to score five hundreds in a single World Cup edition on Saturday. Rohit played a magnificent knock of 103 to guide Team India to a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in their final league match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at Headingley, Leeds. Courtesy this hundred, Rohit had eclipsed former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara’s (4 centuries) record of scoring most hundreds in a single edition. (SCORECARD)
Rohit’s opening partner – KL Rahul (111) also scored a brilliant ton and his maiden World Cup century which helped India to overhaul the 265-run target with 39 balls to spare. Rohit and Rahul also surpassed their own opening best as they added 189 for the first wicket in 30.1 overs as India dominated the Sri Lankan bowling attack. This was also Rohit’s 3rd successive hundred in the ongoing edition of World Cup and his 27th overall in ODIs. (MATCH HIGHLIGHTS)
The 32-year-old Rohit also became the 4th batsman and the 2nd Indian to score 600 runs in a single edition of the World Cup. He broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record for most runs at the end of the league stage of any World Cup. With 647 runs from 8 innings (one of India’s games was washed out) under his belt, Rohit is within touching distance of Tendulkar’s record 673 runs in the 2003 WC edition.
Earlier, Angelo Mathews once again turned out to be a thorn in India’s flesh with a gutsy hundred after a top-order collapse, guiding Sri Lanka to a respectable 264/7 7 in their final World Cup encounter. The former Sri Lanka captain (113 off 128 balls) played a near-perfect knock with his back to the wall, to give his team a chance to fight which looked bleak after first hour.
Jasprit Bumrah (3/37 in 10 overs) was fast, accurate and mostly unplayable but Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/73 in 10 overs) had a forgettable day. Mathews, who has now scored all his three ODI hundreds against India (Mohali and Ranchi earlier), hit 10 fours and two sixes in his final knock of this competition.
Mathews came in at 53 for 3 and it soon became 55 for 4 when Lahiru Thirimanne (53 off 68 balls) joined him. The duo added 124 runs for the fifth wicket to bail the team out of the woods. He then had a 74-run stand for the sixth wicket with Dhananjaya de Silva (29 off 36 balls) that helped Sri Lanka get past the 250-run mark.
The 32-year-old Mathews’ knock was a treat to watch as it was a perfect example of how to build an innings after a top-order collapse. Ravindra Jadeja (1/40 in 10 overs) was given respect and only twice he chanced his arms for two maximums.
Kuldeep Yadav (1/58 off 10 overs), after being dropped against Bangladesh, did not show much improvement as he was bowling too full which both Thirimanne and Mathews found easy to negotiate. Kuldeep, at the fag end of his spell, did get Thirimanne, who tried to hit the left-arm wrist spinner against the spin.