Jan 28, 2009

Sport - Cricket;India beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets

NEW DELHI: MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma safely guided India to a six-wicket comprehensive win over Sri Lanka in the first One-Day International in
Colombo. India lead the five-match series 1-0.

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni (61) slammed his 26th ODI fifty and with some ferocious hitting sent an ominous warning to the host team.

The Indian chase was studded with fifties from Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni respectively. Rohit Sharma justified his selection with a patient 25-run innings with some excellent running between the wickets alongwith Dhoni.

Farveez Maharoof claimed Yuvraj Singh (23) in the 38th over to raise some doubts in the Indian camp. Yuvraj handed Muralitharan a comfortable catch in the long on.

Left-hander Suresh Raina was run out after a mix-up with Yuvraj Singh just after scoring his 9th fifty as India lost their third wicket in the 28th over to reach 137/2.

India lost Suresh Raina (54) and Gautam Gambhir (62) in quick succession after they stitched out a crucial 113-run partnership for the second wicket after losing Sachin early.

Muralitharan provided the much-needed breakthrough by claiming Gautam Gambhir for 62 runs as India lost their second wicket. In-form opener Gautam Gambhir completed his 14th fifty to take India to 112/1 in 22 overs.

Thilan Thushara got rid of Sachin Tendulkar for 5 runs in the fourth over as India lost early wicket in the first One-dayer. Tendulkar's wicket was also Kumar Dharmasena's first decision in One-dayers as an umpire. However, it was not the best LBW decision as the ball had pitched outside leg and hit Sachin high on the pad.

Earlier, veteran Sanath Jayasuriya slammed his 28th ODI ton and propel Sri Lanka to 246/7 in 50 overs. Jayasuriya also became the second cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar to complete 13,000 runs in ODIs.

Put in to bat first, Lankans lost opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (0) in the third ball of the match but Jayasuriya (107) and Kumar Sangakkara (44) helped Sri Lanka post the highest score at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.

Consistent Indian bowlers restricted the hosts to a moderate total in the extreme hot conditions.

Jayasuriya also became the oldest cricket to score a One-day hundred.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni won an important toss and invited Sri Lanka to bat first.

India's Yusuf Pathan cashed in on a huge mix-up by the Lankan openers and ran out opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (0). Lanka lost the first wicket in the third bowl of the first over without a score on the board.

Sanath alongwith Kumar Sangakkara steadied Lanka by stitching out a useful partnership after the early loss of Dilshan.

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha claimed Kumar Sangakkara for 44 runs as Sri Lanka lost their second wicket in the 28th over. Sangakkara's 44-run innings in 86 balls included only two boundaries.

Pacer Zaheer Khan got rid of veteran Sanath Jayasuriya for 107 runs as Sri Lanka lost their fourth wicket to reach 174/4 in 40 overs. Jayasuriya completed his 28th century as Sri Lanka scored cautiously in the hot conditions. His patient knock was studded with 10 hits to the fence and a six.

Farveez Maharoof, who was promoted up the order for some big hits, slammed 35 runs before being bowled out by Ishant Sharma. Maharoof's brief cameo included two fours and a six.

Thilan Thushara (12) and Nuwan Kulasekara (0) remained not out. Chamara Kapugedera (15) was run out just before the last ball by Suresh Raina.

Rohit Sharma replaced unfit Virender Sehwag. The dashing Indian opener picked an injury during the practice session which gave Rohit Sharma a golden opportunity to prove himself.

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