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Rambunctious Rohit leads Sri Lankan rout

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The return of Rohit Sharma to the Indian side turned into a landmark day for cricket with the dashing opener producing an innings worthy of the occasion, smashing an incredible 264 runs from just 173 balls to break all records that existed in the ODI format. Sharma's innings, the highest score ever by a player in this format led India to a mammoth total of 404, the fifth time the hosts have scored in excess of 400 runs. Sri Lanka in reply were bowled out for 252 in the 44th over, ending with a score less than what Sharma scored on his own as India took a 4-0 lead in the 5 match series.

The Eden Gardens, Kolkata, was the momentous venue hosting game four of the series and it could have been oh so different for Sharma when Thisara Perera grassed a sitter at third man when the batsman was only on 4. Sharma was dropped twice more in his incredible essay, once off a no-ball, before finally being dismissed on the last ball of the innings, attempting to clobber Nuwan Kulasekara out of the park.

Sharma opened the batting with Ajinkya Rahane, who raced to 28 from just 24 balls before falling leg before to Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews. Ambati Rayudu came in at no.3, but failed to make the most of a placid pitch as he was dismissed for a sluggish 8, bowled by Shaminda Eranga.

Sharma found a useful ally in stand-in skipper Virat Kohli, with whom he shared a 202 run partnership for the third wicket. Kohli chipped in with a better than a run a ball 66 before he was run out, leaving the stage for Sharma to wave his wand. The Mumbaikar smashed 33 fours and 9 sixes en route to making an incredible score.

Suresh Raina (11 off 5 balls) didn't last too long, but Robin Uthappa (16* from 16 balls) kept Sharma company till the very end, rotating the strike expertly to ensure that Sharma had every opportunity to pepper the boundaries.

India ended with an incredible total of 404-5 and the game was over bar the shouting.

Sri Lanka's response started in the worst possible fashion as Umesh Yadav removed Kushal Perera for naught in the very first over and Kohli's surprise decision to throw the new ball to Stuart Binny paid rich dividends as Sri Lanka were 48-4 inside 10 overs, with both new ball bowlers striking twice.

Angelo Mathews (75) and Lahiru Thirimanne (59) restored some pride for the Lankans by sharing in a 116 run partnership for the 5th wicket, before Uthappa stumped the former off Axar Patel.

Dhawal Kulkarni ran through the Lankan lower order, taking 4 of the last 5 wickets to fall to knock them over for 251 and finished with exceptional figures of 3-34 from his 10 overs to boost his chances of heading to the World Cup.

Mini Scorecard:

India 404/5 (50.0 overs, 8.08rpo)

R Sharma 264 (173) A Mathews 2-44 (8)

V Kohli 66 (64) S Eranga 1-77 (10)

Sri Lanka 251 (43.1 overs, 5.81rpo)

A Mathews 75 (68) D Kulkarni 4-34 (10)

L Thirimanne 59 (69) U Yadav 2-38 (8)

India win by 153 runs