IMAGES from the World Cup match between India and Sri Lanka played at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Thursday


Fluent knocks by Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill took India to a strong position of 126-1 in 21 overs against Sri Lanka in their World Cup contest in Mumbai on Thursday.

After losing captain Rohit Sharma (4) early, Virat Kohli notched up his 12th fifty against Sri Lanka, showcasing his prowess as a formidable batsman.

Meanwhile, Shubman Gill makes a remarkable contribution by securing his second fifty of the World Cup.

Rohit Sharma opened the innings with a boundary, but his promising start was abruptly cut short by a brilliant delivery from Dilshan Madushanka, which sent him back to the pavilion on the very next ball for 4 off 2 balls. Madushanka beat the defence of Rohit on the second ball of the game for the first breakthrough.

Sri Lankan seamers dominated the initial exchanges as Dushmantha Chameera’s two maidens upfront featured probing line and length, drawing inside edges on consecutive deliveries off Kohli’s bat, before a leading edge dropped short of the bowler in his follow through.

Gill made his first runs on his ninth ball when Madushanka dropped it short and the batter pulled it to midwicket for a four, following up with a backfoot punch piercing the point and cover fielders for another boundary.

But Gill was lucky as Charith Asalanka mistimed his jump at cover while attempting to take a catch in the fifth over off Madushanka.

In the sixth over, Chameera could not hold on to a catch on his follow-through when Kohli got another leading edge.

Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill then took charge, forming a resilient partnership for the second wicket. Their steady performance helped stabilize the Indian innings and raised hopes for an exciting contest ahead.

Earlier, Sri Lanka captain Kusal Mendis won the toss and decided to bowl against hosts India in their World Cup round-robin stage match at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.

Sri Lanka have won two of the six matches they have played in this year’s 50-overs showpiece event and need a victory against the unbeaten hosts to keep alive their hopes of making the semi-finals.

The island nation brought in spin-bowling all-rounder Dushan Hemantha for Dhananjaya de Silva in the only change to their side. The hosts were unchanged.

“I think batting second is better than batting first,” Mendis said. “The players have done well in a couple of matches and are giving their best. Very important three games for us.”

Rohit Sharma’s men have lived up to their billing of favourites for the event, winning all six of their round robin games.

Rohit, who hails from Mumbai and leads the domestic Indian Premier League franchise, said he would have batted first.

“Under lights, it will be nice for our seamers to bowl,” Sharma said. “As a team, we thrive on getting better. Obviously, it’s important for us to not get carried away and stay balanced.”

  • World Cup 2023

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