Virat, Umran Drive India To 67-Run Win Over Lanka
Heroics by star batter Virat Kohli and ‘Jammu Express’ Umran Malik outpowered a fighting century by skipper Dasun Shanaka as India defeated Sri Lanka by 67 runs in the first ODI of three-match series at Guwahati on Tuesday.
With this, India is 1-0 up in the series. Chasing a gigantic total of 374, Sri Lanka was not off to a good start as they lost Avishka Fernando (5) and Kusal Mendis (0) within the first six overs to pacer Mohammed Siraj. SL was 23/2 at this point.
Following this, Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva joined forces to take Lanka unharmed through the mandatory powerplay. At the end of 10 overs, SL was 38/2, with Asalanka (10) and Nissanka (22) at the crease.
The visitors seemed to be building a solid partnership but Umran Malik’s pace ended it at 41 runs, sending back Asalanka for 23 off 28 balls. SL was 64/3.
At the end of 20 overs, SL needed a desperate stand and had to push the accelerator. They were at 98/3, with Silva (25) and Nissanka (41) at the crease. The visitors crossed the 100-run mark in 20.1 overs.
Nissanka brought up his half-century in 56 balls. In the 25th over of the match, Mohammed Shami continued Indian pace domination, removing Silva for 47 off 40 balls, consisting of nine fours. SL was 136/4 at this point.
Nissanka was joined by skipper Dasun Shanaka and they took the chase forward. At 30 overs, SL was at 159/4, with Shanaka (7) and Nissanka (71) at the crease. Umran got his second wicket of the match, dismissing Nissanka for 72 off 80 balls, with 11 fours. Half of the Lankan lineup was back in the hut for 161 runs.
In the 32nd over, SL all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga tried to up the run rate by smashing Yuzvendra Chahal for 6,6,4. But Chahal had the last laugh as he dismissed the star all-rounder for 16 off seven balls with assistance from the safe hands of Shreyas Iyer. The hosts were at 178/6.
SL’s downward spiral continued and Umran got his third wicket, sending back Dunith Wellalage for a duck. Visitors were at 179/7.
Lankans crossed the 200-run mark in 36.3 overs. But, Hardik Pandya struck to take his first wicket, dismissing Karunaratne to end the 45-run stand with skipper Shanaka. SL slipped to 206/8 and was staring at defeat.
At the end of 40 overs, SL was at 220/8, with Rajitha (2) and Shanaka (31) unbeaten. Shanaka continued his good run with the bat, bringing up his fifty in 50 balls.
At the arrival of Kasun Rajitha, SL’s recognized batters were ending. Shanaka was the only one left to search for runs. The skipper continued his fight back and SL brought up their 250-run mark in 43.3 overs.
With five overs remaining, Lanka needed 112 runs and Shanaka was their last hope. In the final over, SL needed 86 runs in final over. In the final over, Shami ran out the non-striker at the non-striker end, but skipper Rohit withdrew the appeal. SL finished at 306/8, with Shanaka (108*) smashing his second ODI ton while Rajitha was unbeaten at nine.
Umran (3/57) was the pick of the bowlers for India. Siraj took two scalps while Pandya, Shami, Chahal took one each.
Earlier, Virat Kohli’s 45th ODI century and half-centuries from the Indian openers propelled India to their 22nd 300 plus ODI total against Sri Lanka in the first ODI of the three-match series at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati on Tuesday.
Shubhman Gill (70) and Rohit Sharma (83) laid a perfect platform for the Indian batters as they stitched a 143-run opening stand. Virat’s 113 made sure that India did not lose momentum as KL Rahul (39) and Shreyas Iyer (28) chipped in with useful cameos.
Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanka won the toss and invited India to bat. The hosts opted for Shubhman Gill as Rohit Sharma’s opener and dropped Ishan Kishan, the double-centurion from India’s last ODI assignment.
The Indian openers started aggressively with Rohit getting off the mark with a boundary in the first over by hitting Kasun Rajitha through mid-off. Gill too followed in the captain’s footsteps and smashed Dilshan Madushanka for eight runs in the second over, including a boundary.
Pacer Rajitha was creamed for two boundaries by Rohit in the third over. Gill too dealt with the same measure and hit left-arm pacer Madushanka for three boundaries in the point region in the fourth over.
The Indian captain made full use of the excellent batting conditions on offer and played a plethora of attacking shots on his return to bring up India’s fifty in the seventh over by smashing two sixes and a four.
India was 75/0 at the end of the 10th over with the opening pair making a mockery of the Sri Lankan bowling attack. Rohit reached his 47th ODI fifty in the 13th over of the match with a boundary. The right-hander took 41 deliveries to reach the milestone.
Gill reached his fifth ODI fifty in the 17th over from 51 deliveries. The 23-year-old struck a hattrick of boundaries while Rohit smashed a six off Dunith Wellalage as India scored 19 runs in the 19th over.
The pair stitched a 143-run partnership inside 20 overs to lay an excellent platform for the middle-order batters before Gill was dismissed in the 20th over for 70 (60).
Rohit was looking set for a big score in his comeback inning but was dismissed for 83(67) in the 23rd over to give the visitors their second breakthrough.
However, the momentum was carried on by Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer as they kept striking the ball with disdain. The pair found boundaries at regular intervals with Iyer targeting the Sri Lankan spinners. However, Iyer could not carry on the onslaught after he holed out to Avishka Fernando off Dhananjaya de Silva in the 30th over. The right-hander scored 28(24).
KL Rahul joined the former India captain as the duo looked to build the Indian inning. Both the batters took some time to steady the dining but started hitting relentlessly from the 36th over as they took the attack to the bowlers.
Virat and Rahul smashed a six each off Dhananjaya as the pair racked in 15 run off the 36th over. The former India captain reached his 65th ODI century off 47 balls. The right-hander also had the luck going for him as Kusal Mendis dropped him behind the wickets.
The batting pair put their foot on the accelerator as they kept founding the boundaries with ease. They brought up India’s 300 in the 41st over.
Rahul was playing splendidly until he was bowled behind the legs for 39(29) by Rajitha. Hardik Pandya joined Virat and smashed a six on his third ball to keep the momentum going.
Virat had another stroke of luck as he was dropped by Shanka in the 43rd over. The batter rubbed salt onto the Sri Lankans with two boundaries in the next over.
Sri Lanka did manage to get Hardik for 14(12) in the 45th over but Virat kept the scoring rate up with shots all over the ground. The 34-year-old brought up his 45th century in the 47th over from just 80 deliveries.
He then looked to get India around the 400-run mark but fell in the 49th over for 113(87). The Indian tailenders could not finish with a flourish as the hosts ended with 373/7 at the end of the 50 overs.
Right-arm pacer Kasun Rajitha leaked 88 runs in his 10 overs but was the pick of the bowlers as he accounted for three Indian batsmen.
Brief Scores: India 373/7 (Virat Kohli 113, Rohit Sharma 83; Kasun Rajitha 3-88) vs Sri Lanka: 306/8 (Dasun Shanaka 108*, Pathum Nissanka 72, Umran Malik 3/57). (ANI)
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