Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

Cricket World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma hits record century as India crush Sri Lanka

India vice-captain becomes first batsman to score five hundreds in single edition of game's flagship tournament

India vice-captain Rohit Sharma scored his fifth century at the 2019 Cricket World Cup - a record. Nathan Stirk / Getty Images
India vice-captain Rohit Sharma scored his fifth century at the 2019 Cricket World Cup - a record. Nathan Stirk / Getty Images

Rohit Sharma insisted team trumped personal milestones after he became the first player to hit five centuries in a single Cricket World Cup as India cruised to a comfortable seven-wicket victory in their final group match against Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Rohit smashed 103 off 94 deliveries as semi-finalists India chased down their target of 265 in 43.3 overs to end the league stage with seven wins, one defeat and one washout. Rohit's opening partner KL Rahul top-scored with 111 as the pair put on 189 runs for the first wicket to put India well on top.

Rohit reached his milestone with a boundary off Kasun Rajitha to pass the mark set by Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, who scored four hundreds at the 2015 tournament.

He reached his century off 92 balls with 14 fours and two sixes but was dismissed shortly afterwards, caught by Angelo Mathews off the bowling of Rajitha.

Rohit, known as the "hitman", now leads the tournament's run-scoring charts with 647 runs in eight matches after hitting his third successive century.

But despite being pleased with his form and fortunes, the 32-year-old said what was more important was completing his task of helping his team win a game.

"I'm just trying to go out there and do my job, I'm not thinking of milestones," Rohit said. "If I play well these things will happen on the way.

"I have learned from my mistakes in the past. I don't go into a match thinking of hundreds. Every day is a new day."

He is only the fourth batsman after Sachin Tendulkar, Matthew Hayden and Shakib Al Hasan to score more than 600 runs at a single World Cup.

Tendulkar, India's all-time record run-scorer in ODIs, tweeted his praise for Rohit. "3 consecutive 100s and 5 in a single @cricketworldcup is just phenomenal, Rohit," Tendulkar wrote.

Rahul registered his first century of the tournament but was caught behind shortly before the end of the game off veteran paceman Lasith Malinga - playing his final World Cup match - after hitting 11 fours and one six in his 118-ball knock.

Captain Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 34 and Hardik Pandya hit the winning runs.

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"We wanted to play good cricket but we didn't expect to do this well heading in to the semis," Kohli said. "That's what hard work gets you. I am really proud of this team as a captain, they are amazing people.

"More or less everything is set for the semis, but we don't want to be one-dimensional. We need balance in the side. We are very happy."

Earlier, Mathews hit his third ODI century and put on 124 runs for the fifth wicket with Lahiru Thirimanne (53) to give Sri Lanka a respectable total after they were reeling at 55-4.

Jasprit Bumrah returned impressive figures of 3-37 in his 10 overs as India, who had already qualified for the semi-finals, restricted Sri Lanka with some quality bowling.

The 1996 champions finished their World Cup campaign with three wins, four defeats and two games ending in no result.

Captain Dimuth Karunaratne said Sri Lanka would take stock as they try to build for the future.

"After this World Cup we have to think about what we have to do and what we got wrong. We will talk to the selectors and find some new talent," he said.

Updated: July 6, 2019 09:51 PM

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