A good bowling and batting display helped Shikhar Dhawan’s India thrash hosts Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday.
The team, coached by Rahul Dravid, was called a “second-string side” by Sri Lanka’s World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga before the start of the tour. And though the hosts were forced to put up a ‘second’ squad themselves after some key players had to be left out due to disciplinary reason and injuries, the Indians were clinical in executing their plans and won the match without breaking a sweat.
Chasing a target of 263 set by Sri Lanka, who chose to bat first after winning the toss, India skipper Dhawan led from the front with an unbeaten 86 off 95 deliveries while Ishan Krishan blasted 59 off 42 balls to keep the Indians in control.
India reached 263 for three wickets with 80 balls to spare.
Dhawan and fellow opener Prithvi Shaw had set the ball rolling by raising 58 runs for the opening stand before Shaw was caught by Avishka Fernando off Dhananjaya de Silva (2/49). Dhawan continued to keep vigil at the other end as Ishan Kishan went about scoring runs and India were in cruise mode.
Earlier, India restricted the Sri Lankans to a modest 262 for nine in their allotted 50 overs thanks to some good work by bowlers Deepak Chahar (2/37), Yuzvendra Chahal (2/52), Kuldeep Yadav 2/48.
Chamika Karunaratne was thetop scorer for Sri Lanka with an unbeaten 43. A lot of players got into double figures but could not post a big score.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 262/9 in 50 overs (Avishka Fernando 32, Charith Asalanka 38, Dasun Shanaka 39, Chamika Karunaratne 43 not out; Deepak Chahar 2/37, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/52, Kuldeep Yadav 2/48).
India 263/3 in 36.4 overs (Prithvi Shaw 43, Shikhar Dhawan 86 not out, Ishan Kishan 59, Suryakumar Yadav 31 not out; Dhananjaya de Silva 2/49). (The Quint)