IND vs SL 1st ODI: Rohit Sharma & co. are finally off with a solid start to their World Cup preparations. India overpowered Sri Lanka in the first of the three-match ODI series to take a 1-0 lead. A clinical all-round performance led by the frontline batting and bowling attack helped India to vanquish the Sri Lankan Lions.
Virat Kohli’s Bliztkreig powered India to a Commanding Total
Winning the toss at Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati, Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka made an unfortunate decision to bowl first. Riding on to a thumping performance by the top order, India managed to put up a monster 373/7 run total in their first innings of 50 overs.
Ace batsman Rohit Sharma (83) and Shubhman Gill (70) powered the hosts to a commanding start as they added 143 runs for the first wicket. Run machine Virat Kohli came in next and did not let the momentum flow toward the opposition as he smoked a sizzling century. Kohli (113) and Rahul (39) anchored a crucial 80-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
India’s lower middle order struggled to capitalize on the glorious start by the top order as Pandya (14) and Axar (9) failed to hold the crease. As a result, India’s aim to put a 400+ target on the board was obstructed by a splendid death bowling by Sri Lanka.
For Sri Lanka, Kasun Rajitha (3/88) starred in the bowling attack by claiming crucial wickets though being expensive. Madushanaka (1/43), Karunaratne (1/54), Shanaka (1/22), and de Silva (1/33) chipped in a wicket apiece.
Shanaka’s 108-run knock went in vain as Sri Lanka lost to fixture by 67 runs
Chasing a mammoth target of 374 runs, Sri Lanka was off to a sluggish start after losing Fernando (5), Mendis (0), and Asalanka (23) in quick succession. Patthum Nissanka (72) and Dhananjaya de Silva (47) tried to stage a rescue by putting up a vital 72-run stand for the fourth wicket. However, they soon lost their ground to Umran and Shami after which wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals.
In the end, skipper Dasun Shanaka (108) smashed an unbeaten and marvelous century to bring down the margin and hunt the total. However, his heroics went in vain as Sri Lanka was restricted to 306/8 after the end of 50 overs, losing the match by 67 runs.
For India, Umran Malik (3/57) was absolutely thundering in his bowling approach. He also clocked the fastest delivery by an Indian bowler in international cricket (157 km/hr). Mohammed Siraj (2/30) was also fantastic in his initial power play spell whereas Shami (1/67), Pandya (1/33), and Chahal (1/58) grabbed a wicket apiece. The second ODI will take place at Eden Gardens on Thursday, January 10.