Inexplicably comfortable 9-wicket win for India

Sri Lanka innings (toss: India, who chose to bowl first)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
N Dickwella leg before wicket Jadhav 64 (74) 8 0 86.48
D Gunathilaka caught Rahul, bowled Chahal 35 (44) 4 0 79.54
K Mendis bowled Axar 36 (37) 5 0 97.29
U Tharanga caught Dhawan, bowled Jadhav 13 (23) 0 0 56.52
A Mathews not out 36 (50) 1 1 72.00
C Kapugedera run out by Kohli 1 (2) 0 0 50.00
W Hasaranga caught Jadhav, bowled Axar 2 (5) 0 0 40.00
T Perera bowled Bumrah 0 (5) 0 0 0.00
L Sandakan leg before wicket Axar 5 (8) 0 0 62.50
L Malinga stumped Dhoni, bowled Chahal 8 (6) 0 1 133.33
V Fernando bowled Bumrah 0 (6) 0 0 0.00
Extras: 16 (10 wides and 6 leg byes)
SL’s total: 216/10 in 43.2 overs, at 4.98 runs per over
Fall of wickets: 74/1 (Gunathilaka, 13.6), 139/2 (Dickwella, 24.3), 150/3 (Mendis, 27.1), 166/4 (Tharanga, 32.2), 169/5 (Kapugedera, 33.2), 176/6 (Hasaranga, 34.2), 178/7 (Perera, 35.5), 187/8 (Sandakan, 38.5), 209/9 (Malinga, 41.2), and 216/10 (Fernando, 43.2)
India bowling
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
B Kumar 6 0 33 0 5.50
H Pandya 6 0 35 0 5.83
J Bumrah 6.2 0 22 2 3.47
Y Chahal 10 0 60 2 6.00
K Jadhav 5 0 26 2 5.20
A Patel 10 0 34 3 3.40
India innings (target: 217 runs in 50 overs, at 4.34 runs per over)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
R Sharma run out by Kapugedera 4 (13) 0 0 30.76
S Dhawan not out 132 (90) 20 3 146.66
Virat Kohli not out 82 (70) 10 1 117.14
Batsman who didn’t bat: Lokesh Rahul, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Jasprit Bumrah
Extras: 2 (2 wides)
IND’s total: 220/1 in 28.5 overs, at 7.63 runs per over
Fall of wickets: 23/1 (Rohit, 4.6)
Sri Lanka bowling
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
L Malinga 8 0 52 0 6.50
V Fernando 6 0 43 0 7.16
A Mathews 2 0 9 0 4.50
T Perera 2 0 18 0 9.00
L Sandakan 6 0 63 0 10.50
W Hasaranga 4.5 0 35 0 7.24

Sri Lanka vs India 1st ODI Match summary

Team India cantered their way to a nine-wicket win in the 1st ODI against Sri Lanka, after the bowlers had bowled out the hosts for a mere 216. India have taken a 0-1 lead in the five-ODI series, with the second ODI scheduled to be played on August 24 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

Shikhar Dhawan played probably his most dominant and fluent ODI innings and given the excellent touch he was in, the Delhi opener ensured that he didn’t let go a wonderful chance to add to his 10 ODI centuries. Dhawan never mis-hit one delivery, played shots all round the dial and each one of his strokes was a treat to the eye. Yes, he did get a thick outside edge when he was on 87 and Dickwella put down a difficult chance to his left, but overall, Dhawan’s innings was fluency personified.

He got to his 11th ODI century by hitting Hasaranga for a couple of delightful strokes behind square on the legside (with a sweep) and offside (with a delayed square cut). His celebration was typical of Dhawan as well: nothing fancy, the bat, and the gloves were off and the hands were up, displaying two Vs with the index and middle fingers, a new signature celebration among the Indian players. Dhawan finished with 132 runs off 90 balls, his fastest century in ODIs (71 balls). For his attractive century (his third on this tour), this left-handed opener was awarded the man-of-the-match.

Virat Kohli played the ideal foil to the dashing Dhawan, dabbing the ball for ones and twos and showing how wristy a player he is, apart from being a bottom-hand marauder, by working Lasith Malinga and co. through mid-wicket and square leg on the occasions he could. Kohli didn’t have to be extraordinary and played one of his customary innings. He made his 44th ODI half-century, finishing with 82 runs off 70 balls and sharing an unbeaten 197-run stand with Dhawan.

Kohli-Dhawan’s 197-run second-wicket partnership has now become the highest for any wicket at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium. By completing the 217-run chase in 28.5 overs with a boundary (220/1), India also achieved their biggest win in terms of balls to spare (127 balls).

Given the playing conditions and match conditions, Rohit Sharma will be disappointed to get run out for just 4, having had his bat get stuck in the ground inches away from the crease. The Mumbai batsman had his feet in the air when Kapugedera hit the stumps directly.

Having been invited to bat first after losing the toss, Sri Lankan openers Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka provided a splendid start which Dickwella built on with Kusal Mendis, to put the hosts in a commanding position at the near-halfway mark. The Islanders were 134/1 at the start of the 25th over and were primed to post at least 300, which can at best be considered only a par score in this day and age. The Indian bowling attack had on the whole lacked intensity and barely carried a threat, straying down the leg side on many occasions and being erratic with their lines and lengths. The pitch too, to be fair, hardly offered any assistance to the seamers and was on the slower side.

Gunathilaka, who had played a crucial role in Sri Lanka successfully chasing 322 against India in the Champions Trophy and seemed to enjoy batting against the Men in Blue, batted fluently and found the boundaries during the early stage. Dickwella began sedately and gathered momentum as his innings progressed. These two gave Sri Lanka the early honours by scoring 55 in the first powerplay (overs 1-10).

With the pitch offering little to nothing, the bowlers had to be disciplined, patient and thereby induce errors off the batsmen. And even though the Indian bowlers weren’t exceptional, almost every Sri Lankan batsman self-sabotaged to not only lose his wicket but also, more significantly, wreck the good position the Lankan Lions were in.

Gunathilaka tried to reverse sweep Chahal against the spin and miscued the ball to Lokesh Rahul at cover; Dickwella missed a straight ball from Kedar Jadhav and was trapped in front; Kusal Mendis ventured down the pitch to the fastest spinner, Axar Patel, and saw the furniture disturbed; Upul Tharanga hit a waist-high full-toss from Jadhav down the throat of Shikhar Dhawan at long on; Chamara Kapugedera was run out brilliantly by Kohli but not before Mathews had called his partner for a tight single, and the all-rounder Thisara Perera was clean bowled for nought by Bumrah.

None of these was the bowlers’ wickets, though you can say that the Indian bowlers were rewarded for bowling wicket to wicket for a couple of dismissals.

Sri Lanka lost their final eight wickets for 66 runs, as they went from 150/2 at the start of the 27th over to 216/10 in 43.2 overs. From the 33rd over onwards, a wicket fell in almost every over [32.2 (166/4), 33.2 (169/5), 34.2 (176/6), 35.5 (178/7), 38.5 (187/8), 41.2 (209/9), and 43.2 (216/10)], to bring the innings to a conclusion. Dickwella top-scored with 64, his third half-century against India on this tour, while Gunathilaka (35), Mendis (36) and Mathews (36*) played well while they were in the middle. How badly Sri Lanka needed three of these four batsmen to convert the good start into a big score?

For India, Axar’s largely accurate bowling brought him three wickets, the part-time off-spin of Jadhav brought him the prized scalps of Dickwella and Tharanga, and Chahal and Bumrah took two wickets apiece.

Your opinion...