After the retirement of some of their best batsmen, Sri Lanka has always looked for an opportunity to recuperate and scoop up a win in an international stage. However, the chance of that was long eluding from them since they met India in their second match in the Champions Trophy. Sri Lanka on Thursday pulled off a remarkable, confident seven-wicket victory over India at the Oval, London.
Chasing a huge total of 322, the islanders came out with a stupendous batting performance and crossed the line with nine balls to spare.
Kusal Mendis was the star performer as he played a match-winning knock of 89 before getting run out.
Mendis, along with Danushka Gunathilaka (76), shared a crucial 159-run partnership for the second wicket and paved way for skipper Angelo Mathews and others to register what was termed by many as an unexpected win.
Mathews, who returned to match after suffering a calf injury, also played a useful hand of 52* along with Asela Gunaratne (34 not out off 21 balls). Gunaratne, who came to bat after Kusal Perera (47 retired hurt), was very impressive as he started hitting the ball from the very start and eased off the pressure from the skipper.
None of the Indian bowlers could make much of an impact on a flat deck at hands at the Oval.
Kusal Mendis, who was adjudged Man of the Match, said in the post-match presentation, "I am very happy to have won my first game against India."
Earlier, put to into bat, the defending champions rode on the spectacular century of Shikhar Dhawan to post a huge total of 321-6.
Both Dhawan (125) and Sharma (78) provided the Men in Blue with a stupendous start, putting 138 runs for the opening stand.
However, as soon as Sharma departed, skipper Virat Kohli (0) and last match's hero Yuvraj Singh (7) also went down cheaply.
However, veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Dhoni then shared a 82-run stand with Dhawan and took India to a commanding position. Both the batsmen smashed the Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts of the ground and didn't allow them to settle in.
Towards the end of the innings, Kedar Jadhav played a sweet little cameo of 25 runs off 13 balls and helped India, not only reach past the 300-mark but post a total of 321-6.
Lasith Malinga was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers as he took two wickets but gave away 70 runs in his quota of 10 overs.
All the teams in Group B ( India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan) are now with two points each and two matches now become virtual quarter-finals for them.
The Virat Kohli-led side are still at the top of the table in their group courtesy their healthy run-rate.
The Defending Champions will next face South Africa at the Oval on Sunday while Sri Lanka play Pakistan on Monday at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff