India beat Sri Lanka by 50 runs

Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir cracked sparkling centuries as defending champions India launched their campaign in the Asia Cup cricket tournament with a comfortable 50-run victory over Sri lanka today.

Put into bat, the Indians rode on the heroics of Kohli (108) and Gambhir (100) to post an imposing 304 for three and then polished off the islanders for 254 in 45.1 overs in a floodlit contest at the Shere-e-Bangla National Stadium.

The highlight of the Indian batting was the belligerent 205-run second wicket partnership between Kohli, who notched up his second successive ODI century, and Gambhir while some lusty hits by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (46 not out off 26 balls) and Suresh Raina (30 not out off 17 balls) in the slog overs steered India past the 300 mark.

Sachin Tendilkar, chasing a historic 100th international century, was dismissed for six but the defending champions recovered from the early setback with a solid display on a good batting strip.

Captain Mahela Jayawardene (78) and Kumar Sangakkara (65) were the notable performers but none of the other Sri Lankan batsmen could get going to capitalise on a whirlwind start.

Pacer Irfan Pathan was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 4 for 32 while spinner R Ashwin (3/39) and paceman Vinay Kumar (3/55) were the other wicket-takers.

Sri Lanka will take on Pakistan in their next match on Thursday while India clash with hosts Bangladesh on Friday.

The Sri Lankans got off to a flier as both openers Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan unleashed a flurry of strokes, picking up Praveen Kumar for special treatment.

Irfan Pathan struck for his team in the fifth over by evicting Dilshan with a rather poor delivery. Dilshan attempted to pull the short-pitched ball but found Virat Kohli at mid-wicket. (PTI)