ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Results: Sri Lanka Beat India for 1st Win

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 8, 2017

Sri Lankas Danushka Gunathilaka hits a reverse sweep shot during the ICC Champions Trophy match between India and Sri Lanka at The Oval in London on June 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ian KINGTON / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE        (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Sri Lanka clinched their first win of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy on Thursday after beating India by seven wickets to level things out in the Group B standings as all four nations sit on two points apiece.

Kusal Mendis was named man-of-the-match for his 89 off 93 balls, although the bowlers were deserving of praise after restricting to 321 runs in the one-day international (ODI) meeting.

Shikhar Dahwan's 125 off 128 was overshadowed by Sri Lanka's win at the Oval in London, a result that means the Group B standings are on tenterhooks leading into the final fixtures of the pool phase.

The focus will turn back to Group A matters on Friday as New Zealand prepare to take on Bangladesh, with both teams having seen their first matches rained off—each against Australia.

Bet365 provided a breakdown of the latest standings following Thursday's result:

     

India vs. Sri Lanka

India (Dhawan 125, Malinga 2/70) beat Sri Lanka (Mendis 89, Kumar 1/54) by seven wickets.

Sri Lanka came into Thursday's matchup with India knowing defeat would likely spell the end of their ICC campaign, having lost to South Africa by 96 runs in their opener and sitting two points off all their peers.

One player who was under particular pressure to perform was Lasith Malinga, who only recently returned from a 19-month layoff and also was the only bowler on the day to notch two wickets, via the official ICC Twitter account:

Fortunately, Sri Lanka's stars rose to the occasion en masse, in both batting and bowling, and fit-again star Angelo Mathews praised both aspects of the team following a potential tournament-turner, per ESPNCricinfo.com:

"It's one of the top wins, to beat India. It was a fantastic wicket. The bowlers did brilliantly to restrict India to 321. it's a very chaseable target. 

"I tried to hit as many balls in the nets as possible, it makes you feel good and that helped me come back from injury. Wasn't easy for Gunathilaka to walk into the side and bat like how he did. Kusal is a great player, and Kusal Perera also batted really well. Those partnerships were crucial. It's a must-win game for all of us in the group. Not many people expected us to win and that took a lot of pressure off us. [Turning point?] I thought the second-wicket partnership. They set us the platform."

As well as Mendis' 89, Danushka Gunathilaka (76), Mathews (52) and Kusal Perera (47) also contributed well to the scoreline in a Sri Lanka display that made former international Kumar Sangakkara pleased for his countrymen:

It was suggested by BBC Sport's Azzam Ameen that perhaps Mendis' titanic performance wasn't just a coincidence, too, with Sangakkara possibly having some outward influence on procedures:

Dhawan may be somewhat dismayed his score of 125 wasn't enough to yield two more points for India, who now face an uncertain pool decider against second-place South Africa on Sunday.

Had more team-mates been able to match his standards on Thursday, India may have come away with a different result, although neutrals won't complain after the competition stakes opened up all the more.

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