Clinical Sri Lanka demolish India to end ODI losing streak


Sri Lanka completed a clinical all-round performance to demolish India by 7 wickets in the first ODI match at the HCPA stadium in Dharamshala on Sunday.

Suranga Lakmal produced his best ODI bowling spell, 4 for 13 bowling his 10 overs on the trot in seamer-friendly conditions to restrict the hosts to 29 for 7 before former captain MS Dhoni hit a brilliant, fighting half-century under pressure to take India to a mediocre 112.

Former Sri Lankan captain Upul Tharanga hit a crisp 49 before Angelo Mathews and Niroshan Dickwella made unbeaten 20s to guide the Lankans home and end their 12-match ODI losing streak.

Sri Lanka lead the three-match ODI series, 1-0 with the second game scheduled to be played in Mohali on Wednesday.

Earlier, Sri Lanka’s newest ODI captain Thisara Perera opted to field. Angelo Mathews, bowling for the first time since returning from injury set up Shikhar Dhawan brilliantly and trapped the prolific Indian left-hander in front in the second over.

Stand-in Indian skipper Rohit Sharma was then caught behind by Dickwella off Lakmal. Both Sharma and Dhawan were given not out by the on-field umpires and Sri Lanka sort out the help of DRS to reverse the decisions.

Dinesh Karthik, batting at number four made a 17-ball duck before being caught LBW by Lakmal while Manish Pandey showed poor technique against the moving ball as he was able to edge to the first slip also against the bowling of Lakmal.

Shreyas Iyer, the debutant, chopped one from Nuwan Pradeep onto his stumps as half of the Indian side was back in the pavilion with the scoreboard reading just 16. Pradeep then had Hardik Pandya caught at first slip and soon after Lakmal dismissed Bhuvneshwar for the third duck of the innings to have India tottering at 29 for 7.

Dhoni and Kuldeep Yadav added 41 for the eighth wicket to take the score to 70. Akila Dananjaya broke the stand, drawing Kuldeep forward with a tossed-up delivery, getting him stumped.

Thereafter, Dhoni farmed most of the strike masterfully but Bumrah was bowled off Sachith Pathirana while looking to go big.

MS Dhoni made 58.03% of team runs today (65 out of 112) – highest contribution ever by an Indian batsman in an ODI where all 11 players batted. Previous best was 56% by Virender Sehwag (112 out of 200/9) vs NZ at Auckland in 2003.

Chasing 113 runs to win, Danushka Gunathilaka nicked behind while attempting a terrible slog off Bumrah early in the innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck when Lahiru Thirimanne chopped on onto the stumps.

Despite losing two wickets in quick succession, in-from Upul Tharanga dominated at the other end. He looked in fine touch and his exquisite cover drives sent shivers down the spine. His knock of 49 runs included 10 fours and it came off just 46 deliveries.

Tharanga failed to see off the run chase but Niroshan Dickwella who came in at No 5 did not waste much time in getting the remaining runs. His quick fire 26 made sure that India suffer their biggest defeat in terms of deliveries left in the hands of Sri Lanka.