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ICC Champions Trophy 2017: We failed to execute properly, says stunned Virat Kohli after Sri Lanka loss

India captain Virat Kohli credited the Sri Lankan batsmen for keeping their composure in a tough chase.
Subhasish Dutta London June 08, 2017 23:56 IST
Subhasish Dutta

India captain Virat Kohli on Thursday said his bowlers failed to execute their plans properly after India's shocking seven-wicket loss against Sri Lanka at London's Kennington Oval. Unheralded Sri Lanka sprung the highest successful run chase in Champions Trophy history by stunning India. Defending champions India, who were dubbed as outright favourites going into the match, made an imposing 321/6 thanks to Shikhar Dhawan's 125, the fourth highest total in Champions Trophy history, but Sri Lanka, without two of their best batsmen, trumped that with 322/3 with eight balls to spare. (Scorecard)

Sri Lanka didn't do it without drama under leaden skies. Danushka Gunathilaka, who joined the team only on Wednesday as an injury replacement, and Kusal Mendis were run out for 76 and 89 respectively in mid-innings, then Kusal Perera, hobbling on a suspected right hamstring injury, retired hurt on 47 with seven overs to go. (Match Highlights)

But fit-again captain Angelo Mathews, playing his first one-day international since August, saw his side home beside Asela Gunaratne. Mathews blasted an unbeaten 52 off 45 balls and Gunaratne 34 off 21 to cap the most successful run chase in the 44-year history of ODIs at The Oval.

Kohli gave credit to the Sri Lankan batsmen for keeping their composure in tough chase. 

"We all felt we had enough on the board at the half-way mark. We trusted our bowlers, but Sri Lanka were pretty good on the day. They kept their momentum going and executed their shots really well. Our bowlers bowled decently, but they batted really well. There is always hindsight to think when you don't win games, as I said we bowled decently well, but the execution wasn't quite there. 

India's defeat has turned the remaining Group B matches into virtual quarterfinals: India vs. South Africa on Sunday, followed by Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan on Monday.

Sri Lanka were coming off a 96-run loss to South Africa, while India appeared unstoppable after demolishing Pakistan and easily winning their warm-up matches against Bangladesh and New Zealand.

The Indian captain said they didn't take the Sri Lankans lightly.

"Obviously there is food for thought, but you got to give credit to other teams as well. You don't take any team lightly. It's going to be like this throughout the tournament and we don't expect anything less," he said.

Meanwhile, Mathews termed Thursday's win as one of their top victories.

"It's one of the top wins. To beat India is quite fantastic. Good effort from the bowlers, they restricted India to 321. We know this is a good batting wicket and 300 is quite chaseable. It's a must-win game for all of us in the next game. Not many people expected us to win and that took the pressure off us," he said.