India beats Lanka in first ODI
HAMBANTOTA INDIA survived some jittery moments at the fag end before snatching a thrilling 21-run win over Sri Lanka in the first onedayer of the five-match series on Saturday.
Virat Kohli cracked a superb 106 and Virender Sehwag scored 96 runs as their 173-run stand for the second wicket laid the foundation for India’s imposing 314 for six after electing to bat.
Diminutive left-hander Suresh Raina (50 off 45) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (35 off 29) added valuable runs towards the end to take the side past 300- run mark.
India then restricted the hosts to 293 for nine to take a 1-0 lead in the series, which it needs to win by a 5-0 margin to reclaim the number one position in ODIs.
The hosts’ resistance was built around Sangakkara’s fighting 133 but he fell short of partners from the other end until he was joined by Thisara Perera, who scored a quick-fire 44 off just 28 balls.
Sangakkara’s knock, his 14th ODI hundred and fifth against India, came off 151 balls and included 12 boundaries.
Sangakkara and Perera rattled up a 78-run stand for the seventh wicket, giving some anxious moments to India but their effort only reduced the defeat margin.
Sri Lanka’s fight ended when Sangakkara was bowled by Umesh Yadav in 48th over and Perera was dismissed by Irfan Pathan in the penultimate over.
Pathan (2/37), R Ashwin (2/46) and Yadav (2/76) took two wickets each for India.
Kohli carried his good form of the last season into the match as he scored his fourth hundred in his last five innings. The 23-yearold Kohli blasted nine boundaries in his 113-ball innings.
Sehwag, who was given reprieve by Tillakaratne Dilshan in the second over, had 10 boundaries in his 97-ball innings.
Kohli brought up his fifty in the 23rd over with a single off Herath, before Sehwag sent Perera over mid-on for a four in the 28th over.
However, the Lankans broke the partnership when Perera showed great athleticism to run out Sehwag and deny him century.
Rohit Sharma (5) joined Kohli but was soon dismissed in by Mathews, who dislodged his off-stump.
Kohli kept his nerves and brought up his 12th ODI hundred with a single to deep cover area. Perera finally brought an end to Kohli’s innings when he had him caught by substitute fielder Sachitra Senanayake at the extra cover area.
Dhoni and Raina then joined hands and dealt in boundaries in the last five overs. Raina blasted a full-toss ball past point before hitting another Malinga delivery over extra cover.
Malinga once again came under attack when Raina sent his first ball in the 47th over out of the park, while Dhoni added insult to injury, smashing him over midwicket area.
In the 48th over, Raina picked up another four between deep square leg and deep midwicket, while Dhoni blasted a four and a six off Malinga in the next over.
Both the teams will now travel to Colombo for the second match, scheduled for Tuesday.