Grateful we could bring smiles in times of tragedy: Mathews

During the match between India and Sri Lanka in the ICC Champions Trophy, Dhoni produced a genius of a run out of Sri Lankan batsman Gunathilaka.

The 31-year-old hit 15 fours and one six in his 128-ball innings, receiving strong support from fellow opener Rohit Sharma (78) and MS Dhoni (63).

Contrary to everyone's expectations, Sri Lanka, termed as "underdogs", on Thursday overcame the India challenge as they registered a comfortable seven-wicket win over their Asian neighbours in their crucial Champions Trophy encounter here at the Oval, London.

While it would be easy to have a go at his bowlers for not defending a large score, Kohli preferred to praise the opposition.

"But it hurts some times for us because.both the teams play cricket at the same level and they think this is a practice game and we got our revenge", said they wicketkeeper-batsman.

However, the Indian team needs to keep their focus and not slack off post the 124-run win against Pakistan. I thought we paced it well.

Grateful we could bring smiles in times of tragedy: Mathews

"We don't - we are not a side that always plays explosive cricket throughout the 50 overs, but if a side comes out here and plays cricket with that kind of mindset and executes their shots so well, then you have to take your hat off sometimes and say very well played". And I think our bowlers also bowled decently well. The next game against South Africa will be a virtual quarter final on Sunday with the team winning advancing to the semis.

"It's one of the top wins for us". Bowlers had done well in the previous game so most fans thought it would be next to impossible for Angelo Mathews and co to chase down a total of 322 runs. Few of the noisy Indian supporters who milled happily outside Oval tube station before the start of play appeared even to have considered it.

Sri Lanka: Angelo Matthews (Captain), Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Asela Gunaratne, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep.

"Kusal met Sanga to get some batting tips because he is the king.We all look up to him and take advice from him, all the batters. Maybe after seeing a result like this, because we're playing on the same ground as well".

The last fixtures - India v South Africa and Sri Lanka v Pakistan - are now effective knock-out matches with the winners both going through to the semi-finals. It's a must-win game for all of us in the group. But Sharma and Dhawan absorbed everything Sri Lanka threw at them, and stuck to the team formula: A cautious first 10 overs, and surge through the middle overs, to set up a big finale. However, India didn't finish the game on a high.

  • Arturo Norris