Gambhir, Kohli steer India to series-clinching win

KOLKATA: Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli hammered impressive centuries to power India to a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the fourth one-day international here on Thursday.

Kohli made 107 for his maiden hundred and Gambhir an unbeaten 150 for his seventh century as India surpassed Sri Lanka's 315-6 with 11 balls to spare in the day-night match for an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

The duo were involved in a 224-run stand, India's best for the third wicket against Sri Lanka in one-day internationals. The previous highest was 221 between Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh in Colombo in February 2009.

The fifth and final one-dayer will be played in Delhi on Sunday.

Sri Lanka rode on opener Upul Tharanga's robust 118 to set a challenging target in the must-win match that was interrupted by a power outage.

They were 307-6 in 49.2 overs after electing to bat when play was held up for 23 minutes due to a power failure in one of the light towers at the Eden Gardens.

Sri Lanka put India under pressure when paceman Suranga Lakmal removed openers Virender Sehwag (10) and Sachin Tendulkar (eight) in his lively opening spell to reduce the hosts to 23-2 in the fourth over.

Gambhir and Kohli then denied Sri Lanka success for nearly 36 overs with their rich strokeplay, gathering runs comfortably during their big stand. Gambhir also completed 3,000 one-day runs during his 137-ball knock.

The 21-year-old Kohli offered just one chance in his 114-ball knock when wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara failed to latch on to an edge off spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan. He was then on 88 in a total of 207-2.

He hit one six and 11 fours, including four in a row off paceman Lasith Malinga, while Gambhir's knock contained 14 boundaries.

Sri Lanka were earlier well-served by left-handed Tharanga, who hit two sixes and 14 fours in a 128-ball knock for his seventh one-day hundred.

He added 126 for the third wicket with skipper Sangakkara (60) to prop up the innings after the early dismissals of in-form opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (nine) and Sanath Jayasuriya (15).

Tharanga dominated the Indian attack with a wide range of strokes, once cracking five fours in an over from paceman Ishant Sharma.

Sri Lanka plundered 98 in the last 10 overs, with debutant Thissara Perera smashing a 14-ball 31 and Mahela Jayawardene 33 in 30 deliveries.

Tharanga offered a difficult chance on seven when Nehra failed to hold a firmly-struck shot off his own bowling.

Sangakkara, dropped by Harbhajan Singh off Sharma before he had opened his account, made the most the opportunity as he consolidated his team's position.