The Sri Lankans suffered a heavy thrashing in the hands of India A in their warm-up match at the Brabourne Stadium as they went down by 88 runs.
Chasing India A’s 381, built on the back of centuries from Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey, the Lankans finished with 294 for 9 in their 50 overs.
The Sri Lankan innings never really took off. After Dhawal Kulkarni got rid of Kusal Perera in the ninth over, the visitors lost wickets at regular intervals.
Karn Sharma was the wrecker-in-chief of the Lankan innings, as he removed four of the best opposition batsmen in Upul Tharanga (76), Tillakaratne Dishan (14), Mahela Jayawardena (33) and Angelo Mathews (3). While Unmukt Chand and Karun Nair were the players who caught Tharanga and Mathews respectively, Dilshan was trapped lbw and Jayawardene was castled.
Tharanga was the only Sri Lankan batsman to get past the 50-run mark as his colleagues succumbed to some fine Indian bowling.
Sri Lankan coach, Marvan Atapattu had hoped ahead of this game that younger batsmen would take on the onus of scoring for the team. While the seniors – Jayawardena (33) and Sangakkara (34) – got to starts and got out, the rest, barring Tharanga, failed to get into 30s.
Among the India A bowlers, as Karn did most damage, Dhawal Kulkarni played the perfect foil to the leg-spinner. The Mumbai pacer picked up two wickets for 31 runs in what could be deemed a decent match practice before he joins India’s ODI squad in Cuttack. Parvez Rasool picked up two wickets while Kuldeep Yadav scalped one.
The Sri Lankan bowlers could not pose any respectable competition to their Indian counterparts after Angelo Mathews won the toss and inserted India A in to bat.
The Indian batsmen obliged and how. Rohit Sharma (142 off 111) and Unmukt Chand (54 off 43) got the team off to a positive start with a 95-run opening stand in 12.5 overs.
There were shots galore as the two batsmen swirled their bats freely around the wicket. The partnership was finally ended by Lahiru Gamage, who got Chand caught behind by Kumar Sangakkara.
The Sri Lankans’ moment of joy was transient, though. The wicket was followed by another even more prolific partnership between Rohit and Manish Pandey. The duo worsened the effect of the harsh Mumbai sun for the Lankans, sending them leather chasing on a hard, brown wicket.
Both batsmen played an equally active part in their 214-run alliance which came at more than seven runs per over. The pair was broken when a misunderstanding between the two led to Rohit’s run-out as his attempt to scamper for a second run was aborted by a direct hit by Gamage.
This wasn’t before Rohit had made a stunning comeback after an injury layoff. He got to his century in 91 balls and went on to score 142 in all off 111 balls with the help of 18 fours and a six.
Manoj Tiwary came in and played a brisk cameo of 36 off 26 balls with two fours and sixes apiece. The skipper holed out at deep square leg in the penultimate over, sparking a mini collapse. Kedar Jadhav (0) and Sanju Samson (1) followed suit as Dhammika Prasad picked three wickets in one over.
The India A innings ended with Stuart Binny getting dismissed off the final ball and at the end of 50 overs, the Indian batsmen had amassed 381 for 6. The Sri Lankans had divided those 50 overs among 10 bowlers.