India opener Shikhar Dhawan hammered a fine century, the 10th of his One-Day International career, in India's second ICC Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka at the Kennington Oval in London on Thursday. The left-hander reached the landmark in the 39th over with the help of 13 fours as the Indian batsmen took the Sri Lankan bowlers to task. Dhawan, who was the highest run-getter (363 runs in 5 matches) in the last edition of the Champions Trophy, began to smash boundaries aggressively from the very start leaving the Sri Lankan bowlers flabbergasted. It was only fitting for him to reach his century with a boundary.
This is Dhawan's third century in the competition (twice in the last edition and the third on Thursday) and he's joined a select group of cricketers with this feat - Herschelle Gibbs, Sourav Ganguly and Chris Gayle.
Dhawan had earlier brought up his half-century with the aid of a boundary in the 24th over. It was the 19th in his ODI career.
He also became the quickest to reach the 500-run mark in the Champions Trophy, achieving the feat in seven innings. He surpassed Sourav Ganguly's record of reaching the mark in eight innings.
While Dhawan went on to make a century, his opening stand with partner Rohit Sharma (78) gave India a brilliant start. Sharma had reached his half-century with a smashing maximum. It was his 31st One-day International career half-century (in the 19th over) and he also brought up 1000 ODI runs against Sri Lanka during the match with a single in the 15th over.
The Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan 138-run opening stand provided India with a steady start. They batted together for 24.5 overs and their stand gave India a solid beginning against Sri Lanka.
On June 4, when India took on Pakistan, their opening stand also proved crucial in the match. They had scored the second 50-plus opening stand for India against Pakistan in the last 11 ODIs.