Skipper Shikhar Dhawan hit an unbeaten 86 as India hammered Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the first of the three one-day internationals in Colombo on Sunday.
Chasing 263 for victory, India were in cruise control from the word go, riding on Dhawan’s 33rd ODI half-century, fellow opener Prithvi Shaw’s 24-ball 43 and an attacking 59 by debutant Ishan Kishan to achieve their target in 36.4 overs.
Shaw was declared player of the match for getting India off to a flying start and then the left-handed Dhawan kept up the momentum with big partnerships along with Kishan, who turned 23 on Sunday, Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav, who made an unbeaten 31.
Shaw lost his wicket to Dhananjaya de Silva after getting hit on the helmet in the previous over.
Kishan started his ODI career with a six and then hit three successive boundaries off De Silva. He scored his fifty with a boundary before a thin edge saw him falling to Lakshan Sandakan.
Earlier Indian bowlers combined to restrict Sri Lanka, who elected to bat first, to 262-9 in 50 overs despite a late cameo of 43 by number eight Chamika Karunaratne.
The second ODI is on Tuesday in Colombo.
Earlier, Sri Lanka scored 262 for nine after opting to bat.
Batting at number eight, Chamika Karunaratne top-scored with 43 off 35 balls.
The Indian bowlers never allowed the Sri Lankans to settle down and play a big innings at the R Premadasa Stadium in the first of the six limited overs matches, including the three T20 Internationals, after the ODI rubber.
Opener Avishka Fernando (32) and Minod Bhanuka (27) put on 49 runs for the first wicket but, after the dismissal of the former, the home team kept losing wickets at regular intervals and failed to challenge the opposition bowlers.
Down the order, skipper Dasun Shanaka (39) and Charith Asalanka (38) made useful contributions.
Sri Lanka: 262/9 in 50 overs (Dasun Shanaka 39, Charith Asalanka 38; Chamika Karunaratne 43; Deepak Chahar 2/37, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/52, Kuldeep Yadav 2/48).
India: 263/3 in 36.4 overs (Ishan Kishan 59, Prithvi Shaw 43, Shikhar Dhawan 86).
(With AFP and PTI inputs)
Indian captain Shikhar Dhawan:
“Absolutely, all our boys, most of them have played earlier and they are very matured and aggressive as well. The way they played the game today was tremendous. And I was very happy with their efforts.
“We knew that the wicket had a bit of turn, but the way (our) spinners bowled from the 10th over, they got us back straightaway and they took wickets and all the three spinners did amazing and then later our fast bowlers did a great job.
“When we batted, I guess it was lovely to stand on the other end and see Prithvi going for the first seven overs and then Ishan coming in and playing his first ball of ODI cricket and I was telling him to take it easy.
“The way Prithvi as well as Ishan batted today, it was tremendous and they finished the game in the first 15 overs only. We were just knocking around (then).”
Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka
“Actually, earlier on we started really well but it was hanging a bit, they (Indian bowlers) varied the pace really well. So, I think our batsmen couldn’t get the rhythm going on.
“The way Indian players played, they are really aggressive and the kind of cricket they are playing is really good at the moment. We all know how good they are but our bowlers need to lift our bowling phase.”
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