After whitewashing Sri Lanka in the Test series, India have already taken a 2-0 lead in the ODI series with their three-wicket win in yesterday’s ODI at Pallekele. At one stage, India were looking to lose the game at 131/7 but thanks to the temperament of MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India prevailed.
Across nearly four decades, India and Sri Lanka have played 152 ODIs (including yesterday’s match) between each other with India having won 85 and Sri Lanka 55. Over the years in the Indo-Lankan rivalry, some pretty sensational knocks have been played.
Let’s take a look at the five highest individual scores in India-Sri Lanka ODIs.
#5 Upul Tharanga - 174
After missing out on the 2013 Champions Trophy, Tharanga was called back to the ODI side for the West Indies tri-nation series featuring West Indies, Sri Lanka, and India. He scored 25 in the opening match of the tri-series which Sri Lanka lost.
The Lankans were then up against India who had been narrowly beaten by the Windies in their first game.
Sri Lanka won the toss and skipper Angelo Mathews opted to bat first. Tharanga started off by playing in a very composed manner, hitting some pretty beautiful shots with sublime timing. He added 213 runs for the opening wicket alongside Mahela Jayawardene which is the seventh opening partnership of 200+ that Tharanga has been a part of.
Following Jayawardene’s dismissal, Tharanga began to show some aggressive intent as he reached his century and later to his maiden 150 in ODIs. Tharanga eventually ended his innings unbeaten on 174 from 159 deliveries as Sri Lanka scored 348/1 from their 50 overs. It was the second highest score by a Sri Lankan batsman in ODIs and also the highest score by a Sri Lankan batsman in West Indies, bettering Sanath Jayasuriya’s and Mahela Jayawardene’s 115.
In reply, India were bundled out for 187 as Sri Lanka triumphed by 161 runs.
#4 Sourav Ganguly- 183
This is the only innings on the list that was scored in the Cricket World Cup. India were up against Sri Lanka in the 1999 World Cup in a match where they needed to win in order to avoid a first-round elimination.
India lost opener Sadagoppan Ramesh early but Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly revived the Indian batting through some sensational batting. Ganguly played calmly until the 39th over but once the 40th over came, Ganguly began to smash the Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts of the ground as he reached 150.
Ganguly and Dravid added 318 runs for the second wicket which was then the highest partnership in both World Cup and ODIs.
The Indian opener eventually scored 183 from 158 deliveries, smashing 17 boundaries and 7 sixes, thus scoring the highest score by an Indian in a World Cup match and the then highest score by an Indian in ODIs. India ended their innings at 373/6 from 50 overs and in reply, Sri Lanka could manage only 216, thus giving India a richly deserved win.
Ganguly’s 183 remains to be the highest score by an Indian in a World Cup match.
#3 Mahendra Singh Dhoni- 183
India began their home ODI series against Sri Lanka in 2005 brilliantly by registering comprehensive victories in the first two ODIs at Nagpur and Mohali. The third ODI was held at Jaipur and Sri Lanka batted first after winning the toss.
Kumar Sangakkara’s majestic 138 and Mahela Jayawardene’s 71 took the visitors to a strong total of 298/4 from their 50 overs. In reply, India lost Sachin Tendulkar early and it was MS Dhoni who came in to bat at number three. Dhoni and Sehwag added 92 runs for the second wicket before the latter departed for 39.
Dhoni, however, continued to stay at the crease and with Diwali around the corner at the time, he produced some fireworks of his own, keeping the Lankan bowlers awestruck as he reached his century. It was raining fours and sixes at sunny Jaipur as Dhoni raced to 183 from just 145 deliveries with India winning the match with 23 balls to spare.
After ending the match with his 10th six, Dhoni was adjudged the Man of the Match for the highest score made by a wicketkeeper batsman, bettering Adam Gilchrist’s 172 against Zimbabwe in 2004.
#2 Sanath Jayasuriya- 189
Sri Lanka were in terrific form during the Coca Cola Champions Trophy in the UAE that featured India, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe. Having won all their matches, Sri Lanka were in the final where they were up against India at Sharjah.
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first. Skipper Sanath Jayasuriya and keeper-batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana added 44 runs for the first wicket before the latter was bowled by Zaheer Khan.
Jayasuriya, who had been in really good form throughout the tournament continued to bat brilliantly in the final but he wasn’t given enough assistance by his fellow batsmen as the likes of Marvan Atapattu, Mahela Jayawardene, and Kumar Sangakkara all were dismissed early and as the Islanders found themselves on 116/4.
But upon the arrival of Russell Arnold, the Lankan skipper finally found someone who was able to cement down the other end. Jayasuriya would soon move up the gears as he reached his century by crossing 151, bettered his own record of 151 against India in 1997 for the highest ODI score by a Sri Lankan batsman in ODIs.
The way Jayasuriya was batting, it looked like he would become the first double-centurion in ODIs. However, he was dismissed for 189 in the 49th over by Sourav Ganguly, thus breaking a 166-run partnership between Jayasuriya and Arnold which remains to be Sri Lanka’s highest partnership for the fifth wicket.
Sri Lanka ended their innings on 299/5 with Arnold remaining unbeaten on 52.
In reply, India were skittled out for 54, their lowest ODI score thanks to some sensational bowling from Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan who bowled spells of 5/14 and 3/6 respectively. Sri Lanka thus won the tri-series and Jayasuriya was adjudged the Man of the Match for his spectacular knock as well as the Man of the Series for his sensational performances with the bat throughout the tournament.
#1 Rohit Sharma- 264
Who can forget this gem of a knock by Rohit Sharma at the Eden Gardens in 2014? After being out of the playing XI for the first three ODIs, Sharma replaced Shikhar Dhawan for the fourth ODI.
Sharma played with composure and was hit some terrific shots with sublime timing, footwork, and manoeuvring of the wrists as he reached his century.
However, India's no.45 cranked up his game after reaching the three-figure mark and began to bat aggressively, toying with the Sri Lankan bowlers and smashing boundaries in quick succession.
With a fine boundary on the off-side, Rohit Sharma became the first player to score two double centuries in ODIs. Sharma’s batting partner on the other end Robin Uthappa who also needed to perform in order to make himself a regular in the team was playing the perfect team game by allowing Rohit to take most of the strike to take India to a strong total.
Uthappa’s presence paid off as Sharma went on to score 264 from just 173 deliveries - the highest score in ODI cricket.
India ended their innings at 404/5. In reply, the fifties from Angelo Matthews and Lahiru Thirimanne could take the visitors to only 253 as India won by 151 runs. Unsurprisingly, Rohit Sharma was adjudged the Man of the Match for his superb effort which is yet to be bettered.