India captain Rohit Sharma led from the front with an exciting 41-ball 72 before India stuttered to settle for 173 for eight against Sri Lanka in their Asia Cup Super Four match in Dubai on Tuesday. Rohit blazed away after India lost two early wickets, hitting five fours and four sixes during his entertaining knock. He was well supported by Suryakumar Yadav (34 off 29 balls) during a stand of 97 runs for the third wicket.
In the course of that innings, Rohit went past Sachin Tendulkar’s tally (971 runs in 23 matches) in the Asia Cup. Tendulkar scored the runs in the ODI format of the tournament. Rohit Sharma now has 1016 runs in 31 matches. Only Sanath Jayasuriya (1220 runs in 25 matches) and Kumar Sangakkara (1075 in 24 matches) are above him.
In the match, Rohit’s dismissal triggered a slide as India added 63 runs after being 110 for three in the 13th over, when the skipper got out.
Sri Lanka were off to a dream start as they removed opener KL Rahul (6) and one-down Virat Kohli (0) in quick succession, leaving defending champions India in early trouble at 13 for two in the third over.
Rohit though remained positive and kept the scoreboard moving at a healthy rate, making his intention clear when he played Chamika Karunaratne over wide mid-on for a boundary.
Fast-medium bowler Asitha Fernando was introduced into the attack, and Rohit smashed him for a six and a four off successive balls as 14 runs came in the fifth over. The Indian captain then hit Theekshana for a four over square leg, helping India score 44 runs in the six powerplay overs. Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and Karunaratne then bowled a couple of tight overs, succeeding in containing the duo of Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav.
Meanwhile, Rohit was dropped at extra cover when batting on 40, off Hasaranga’s bowling. Rohit took advantage of his reprieve and whipped Asitha Fernando over deep square-leg for a six, and then reached his half century with a four.
Suryakumar also got into the act, striking Madushanka for a maximum. It was then again Rohit’s turn to get a six as the Indian captain danced down the wicket to loft Hasaranga over long-on. He followed that up with a four and then another six.
However, Karunaratne dismissed Rohit in the next over with a slower one.
But India’s total did not prove to be enough, as Sri Lanka chased down the target with one delivery and four wickets to spare.
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