COLOMBO, Aug 31: Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma produced sublime centuries as India dented Sri Lanka�s chances of a direct World Cup qualification with a thumping 168-run victory in the fourth ODI here today.
Kohli (131 runs off 96 balls) and Rohit (104 off 88) made merry on a batting beauty to guide India to 375 for five, the highest total posted by a visiting team in an ODI in Sri Lanka.
The final flourish was provided by comeback man Manish Pandey (50 n.o. off 42) and MS Dhoni (49 n.o. off 42), who achieved a memorable milestone of 300 ODIs.
Sri Lanka never looked like getting close to India�s imposing total and could only manage 207 all out in 42.4 overs with Angelo Mathews� 70-run knock being the sole noteworthy batting performance.
The heavy defeat was also Sri Lanka�s biggest at home in terms of runs.
India now lead the five-match series 4-0 and look set to complete another whitewash after blanking Sri Lanka in the preceding three Tests.
Things are going from bad to worse for Sri Lanka, who needed to win at least two matches in the ongoing series to seal automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup.
They can still directly qualify, provided the West Indies don�t win more than three of their upcoming five ODIs against England.
India, opting to bat for the first time in the series, virtually batted the opposition out of the game.
Courtesy skipper Kohli�s 29th ODI hundred and his 219-run second-wicket stand with an in-form Rohit, India were able to lay the foundation for a massive total.
Rohit, who hit back-to-back hundreds, now has 13 three-figure scores in the 50-over format.
Pandey too utilised his first chances of the series to the fullest while Dhoni missed out on his 100th ODI half century by a run.
The Dhoni-Pandey unbroken 101-run partnership for the sixth wicket yielded 101 runs in only 12.2 overs.
After winning the toss on a batting belter, skipper Kohli joined Rohit after Shikhar Dhawan (4) was dismissed trying to slash an Angelo Mathews delivery over point.
With the ball coming onto the bat, strokeplay became easy. Rohit initially took time to settle down as Kohli attacked the listless Sri Lankan bowling from the word go.
The first 50 came off 52 balls, but the innings slowly gathered pace as India crossed 100 off just 84 balls.
Kohli raced to his half-century off 38 balls even as their 50 partnership came off 46 balls.
The hectic pace of scoring continued as Kohli and Rohit celebrated their 100 partnership off only 76 balls with the latter also reaching half-century off 45 balls.
India: Rohit Sharma c Dickwella b Mathews 104, Shikhar Dhawan c Pushpakumara b Fernando 4, Virat Kohli c Munaweera b Malinga 131, Hardik Pandya c Hasaranga b Mathews 19, Lokesh Rahul c Hasaranga b Dananjaya 7, Manish Pandey not out 50, MS Dhoni not out 49. Extras: (LB- 5, W-6) 11. Total: (For 5 wkts; 50 overs) 375. Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-225, 3-262, 4-262, 5-274. Bowling: Lasith Malinga 10-0-82-1, Vishwa Fernando 8-1- 76-1, Angelo Mathews 6-2-24-2, Malinda Pushpakumara 9-0-65-0, Akila Dananjaya 10-0-68-1, Wanidu Hasaranga 2-0-19-0, Milinda Siriwardana 5-0-36-0.
Sri Lanka: Niroshan Dickwella c Dhoni b SN Thakur 14, Dilshan Munaweera c Dhoni b Bumrah 11, Kusal Mendis run out (Rahul) 1, Lahiru Thirimanne c Dhawan b Hardik Pandya 18, Angelo Mathews c SN Thakur b Axar 70, Milinda Siriwardana c Dhoni b Hardik Pandya 39, Wanidu Hasaranga run out (Bumrah/Axar) 22, Akila Dananjaya batting 11, Malinda Pushpakumara c Pandya b Bumrah 3, MVT Fernando c & b Kuldeep Yadav 5, SL Malinga b Kuldeep Yadav 0, Extras: (LB-1, W-12) 13. Total: (For 10 wkts in 42.4 Overs) 207. Fall of Wickets: 22-1, 26-2, 37-3, 68-4, 141-5, 177-6, 190-7, 8-196, 9-207, 10-207. Bowling: Shardul Thakur 7-0-26-1, Jasprit Bumrah 7-0-32-2, Hardik Pandya 8-0-50-2, Virat Kohli 2-0-12-0, Kuldeep Yadav 8.4-1-31-2, Axar Patel 10-0-55-1. � PTI