Close Icon

Enter your mobile number

or Scan the QR Code Scan the QR Code

India storm to 7-wicket victory in 1st ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo

By Devarchit Varma July 19, 2021

Shikhar Dhawan enjoyed a perfect captaincy debut for India against Sri Lanka in the first of their three ODIs to be played at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday, with his young and inexperienced team producing a performance which matched that of a world-dominating and seasoned outfit. India played as per the script and expectations on Sunday to crush Sri Lanka by 7 wickets and more than 14 overs to spare, taking 1-0 lead. 

The architect of India’s commanding victory ― one that should particularly be noticed by Sri Lanka’s former World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga for his bizarre comments before the series ― were youngsters in Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan, captain Dhawan and the leg-spin bowling pair of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. 

India scored 263/3 in 36.4 overs in reply to Sri Lanka’s arduous 262/9 from all of their 50 overs. In the chase, Shaw dazzled and lit up an empty Khettarama Stadium with breathtaking display of strokes along the ground, racing to 43 off 24 balls with nine fours before his innings ended due to an uncontrolled stroke. Shaw was severe on the mediocre Sri Lankan bowlers while he schooled the opposition on how to play strokes through the off-side with precision, command, technical efficiency and fluency of bat-flow. 

Kishan celebrated his ODI debut on his birthday with a rapid maiden fifty, an innings which began with a six off the first ball and a four off the second. The left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman finished with 59 from 42 balls with an overall eight fours and two sixes. Kishan’s fearless approach to attack did look risky at times, but the risks paid rewards for India as he went on to smash Sri Lanka into submission while adding 85 from 74 balls in the company of his captain. 

Dhawan may have been the aggressor at the top for India so many times in the past, but on Monday the senior player and captain on tour gladly took the backseat to let the young guns to read the riot act ― as if to answer Ranatunga. 

The India captain took charge when Manish Pandey perished for a laborious 26 after the dazzling knocks from Shaw and Kishan. In the rich company of another ODI debutant, Suryakumar Yadav, Dhawan raced to 86 not out off 95 balls, spangled with six fours and one six. Suryakumar also gave a fine display of his assuredness once again, smacking five fours to make 31 not out off 20 balls with five fours. 

It was more than just a comprehensive, clinical and all-round dominating performance by the Indians. The visiting team completed its ninth consecutive victory over the Sri Lankans in ODI cricket, Dhawan made a winning start to his short captaincy tenure, he scored an unbeaten 86 ― highest from either sides, brought up his 6,000 ODI runs and also hit the winning runs for the team at the end of the chase. 

The pair of Chahal and Kuldeep was fielded for the first time since 2019, and they stifled the Sri Lankan batsmen after they successfully got past the challenges thrown by the Indian seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar. Chahal and Kuldeep returned with two wickets apiece, producing a dominating show of spin bowling which saw the home team’s batsmen faltering one after another. 

Sri Lanka opted to bat after winning the toss and were off to a sedate start. Avishka Fernando, the more experienced among the two openers, took the initiative of taking the attack to the Indians while Minod Bhanuka, playing only his second ODI, was tasked with the responsibility of holding the other end. 

The two did not do a bad job either ― 49 runs were added inside 10 overs and India had began to grow a little uncomfortable for the lack of success with the ball. Chahal broke through on the first delivery he bowled in the contest, and thus began a spate of unfortunate events for the home team in which their batmen failed to convert starts. 

Fernando fell for 33 off 35 balls that included two fours and a six. Bhanuka made 27 from 44 balls with three fours. Bhanuka Rajpaksa showed aggressive intent, but a little too much against Kuldeep. Having hit a couple of sixes and as many fours, the No 3 fell for a 22-ball 24. Kuldeep had earlier accounted for Minod. 

Dhananjaya de Silva made 14 from 27 balls before he was removed by Hardik Pandya. Charith Asalanka and Dasun Shanaka added 49 for the fifth wicket which did provide Sri Lanka some hope, but they perished for scores of 38 and 39 respectively.

However, the home team was provided a fresh lease of life towards the end when Chamika Karunaratne clobbered two sixes and a four to make an unbeaten 43 off 35 balls, an innings which helped Sri Lanka reach a competitive 262/9 in their 50 overs. Karunaratne added 40 runs off the last 18 balls of the innings with Dushmantha Chameera.  

India used six bowling options with three of them, Chahar claiming two wickets for himself apart from Chahal and Kuldeep, to mark a fine bowling performance. However, it was a forgettable return for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was punished for 63 runs in his nine wicketless overs. 

India will continue their march towards sealing the series when the two teams meet at the same venue on Tuesday afternoon, for the second ODI of the series.


Download App