Sri Lanka will take on India in a 5-match ODI series at home starting on the 20th of August. Here’s a look at some of Sri Lanka’s most outstanding ODI knocks against their arch-rivals.
Sanath Jayasuriya 189 (Sharjah 2000)
The Coca-Cola cup Final on October 29th 2000 was a historic day for all the cricketing fans in Sri Lanka. Sanath Jayasuriya captained a strong Sri Lankan side with Saurav Ganguly leading the Indian team. Skipper Jayasuriya won the toss and opted to bat first on a dry and batting friendly conditions in Sharjah. The Lankan Lions went on to post a commanding 299/5 in their 50 overs. The dashing left-hander destroyed the Indian bowling attack single-handedly to register the highest score by a Sri Lankan in ODIs scoring 189 off 161 balls. He smashed 21 boundaries and 4 maximums at a strike rate of 117.39. Unfortunately, he fell trying to go past Saeed Anwar’s 194 (then the highest score in ODIs), with a six as he was stumped off the bowling of Saurav Ganguly. The Indians crumbled for a shocking 54 as the Lankans lifted the title by 245 runs. Jayasuriya was named Man of the Match and Man of the Series for his outstanding efforts throughout the tournament.
The third game of the tri-nation series was a remarkable one Sri Lanka’s current ODI and T20I skipper Upul Tharanga. July 2nd 2013 was a perfect day for cricket with Indian skipper Virat Kohli winning the toss and inviting the Lankans to have a bat on a flat batting track. The openers Mahela Jayawardana and Upul Tharanga middled the white ball from the very 1st over as the Indian bowlers were taken to the cleaners. Both openers got to centuries as the opening pair put up a double century stand. After Mahela departed for 107, Tharanga took the upper hand. He made a superlative 174 not out off 159 balls that included 19 boundaries and 3 sixes to steer the Lankans to 348/1 in 50 overs. The efforts of Tharanga helped the Lankans to a 161-run win and he took away the Man of the Match award.
A strong Sri Lankan team toured India in 2009 December for a 5-match series. The visiting Skipper Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and Invited the Indians to have a bat in excellent batting conditions in Rajkot. Indian batting sensation Virender Sehwag was the hero for the hosts with a 102 ball as they piled up 414/7 in 50 overs, registering the highest total against Sri Lanka in ODI cricket. Chasing a mammoth target to win, the visitors needed an extraordinary effort to reach 415. Sri Lankan openers Tharanga and Dilshan were on par with the required run-rate as experienced Tillakaratne Dilshan bought out his best ODI knock of 160 off 124 deliveries with 20 glorious boundaries and 3 massive sixes with an impressive 129.03 strike rate. He was controlling the game until he was clean bowled by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. The Island nation almost crossed the line but Thilina Kandamby and Thilan Samaraweera were both run-out at a crucial stage in the game and a superb 50th over by Ashish Nehra gave the Indians a thrilling 3-run win.
The 4th match of the Pepsi Independence Cup was played 20 years back in Bollywood city, Mumbai. Indian skipper Sachin Tendulkar won the toss and decided to bat first as they were restricted by a disciplined bowling effort by the visitors to 225/7 in 50 overs in batting friendly conditions. Chasing a modest target to win, the touring team Sri Lanka got off to a terrible start losing opener Romesh Kaluwitharana for a duck. However, it’s the Master blaster who stood up to the challenge and thrashed the bowling attack with ease. Opener Jayasuriya carried the bat as he smashed an unbeaten 151 off 120 balls with 17 fours and 4 maximums with a sparkling strike rate of 125.83. His contribution with the bat gave the visitors a 5 wicket win and he was also named Man of the Match for his spirited knock.
The 3rd game of the Pepsi Asia Cup was played in Colombo. After winning the 1996 World Cup the Islanders were confident to take any challenge given to them. Captain cool Arjuna Ranatunga invited the neighbours to take 1st lease of the wicket. The Lankan bowlers were spot on from the word go as they kept the strong Indian batting line up to a below-par 227/6 in 50 overs. In pursuit, the hosts lost experienced Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda De Silva cheaply. World cup winning skipper Ranatunga walked in at number 4 and anchored the innings with a spectacular 131 off 152 balls that included 17 fours. He registered his career best score and led the team to a memorable win against the mighty Indians.