Virat Kohli cracked a century and part-timer Manoj Tiwary bagged four wickets as India posted a comfortable six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in their fourth one-day international (ODI) on Tuesday.
Kohli, who also scored a ton in the opening game, made a 119-ball 128 not out as India surpassed Sri Lanka’s total of 251-8 with more than seven overs to spare for an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
Tiwary earlier played a key role in restricting Sri Lanka in the day-night match in Colombo, taking four wickets with his leg-spin in his first game of the series.
Man-of-the-match Kohli, who hit one six and 12 fours, completed his 13th one-day century with an aggressive shot when he pulled fast bowler Lasith Malinga for a boundary.
India were under pressure at 109-4 before Kohli and Suresh Raina (58 not out) added 146 runs to steer their team home.
Raina, dropped on 19 by skipper Mahela Jayawardene in the slips off debutant paceman Nuwan Pradeep, hit one six and four boundaries in his 51-ball knock.
“Kohli has improved a lot and once he gets set, he’s someone who doesn’t like to throw away his wicket,” India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said.
“The part-timers bowled really well and they bowled to their field. We requested Manoj to bowl a lot in the net sessions,” he added.
Opener Upul Tharanga (51), Lahiru Thirimanne (47) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (42) were the main scorers for Sri Lanka, who were 152-2 in the 32nd over.
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took two wickets and part-time spinner Virender Sehwag one.
“We didn’t bat well and were 30-40 runs short,” Jayawardene said. “To control that line-up you need to pick up wickets and that’s where we lacked in the last few games. Dropping catches doesn’t help.”
Sri Lanka made an impressive start after electing to bat, with Tharanga and Dilshan adding 91 for the opening wicket.
Fast bowler Ashok Dinda broke the stand when he removed Dilshan, who was caught behind after cracking seven fours in his 48-ball knock.
Tharanga, who pulled Dinda for the first six of the match, fell soon after completing his half-century, stumped by Dhoni off Ashwin. He also hit four boundaries in his 73-ball knock.
Dinesh Chandimal (28) and Thirimanne put on 50 for the third wicket before Tiwary struck in his opening over, having Chandimal caught by Irfan Pathan at square-leg.
Off-spinner Sehwag got a big wicket when he had Jayawardene caught behind for three to reduce Sri Lanka to 155-4.
Sri Lanka made two changes from the side that lost the last match by five wickets, bringing in Thirimanne and Pradeep in place of injured Kumar Sangakkara and Isuru Udana.