Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag powered India to easy win – 1st ODI vs. Sri Lanka

India 314-6 (Virat Kohli 106, Virender Sehwag 96, Thisara Perera 3-70) beat Sri Lanka 293-9 (Kumar Sangakkara 133, Thisara Perera 44, Irfan Pathan 2-37) by 21 runs.

Virat Kohli trounced another ODI ton while Virender Sehwag assisted him well as India won the 1st ODI besides a hundred from Kumar Sangakkara.

India piled up 314 runs after losing six wickets in the allocated 50 overs and restricted Sri Lanka to 293 with one wicket in hand.

Virat Kohli continued with his brilliant form in the international cricket, thrashed 106 runs and was declared ‘Player of the match’.

Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag - A match winning partnership of 173 runs
Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag – A match winning partnership of 173 runs

The first One Day of the five match series was played on Saturday, July 21, 2012, at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa, Hambantota.

Earlier, MS Dhoni, the skipper of India, won the toss and opted to bat on a flat track. The innings was initiated by their regular openers, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. The first was dropped on the second ball of the second over at point by Tillakaratne Dilshan off Lasith Malinga at nought. The sloppy fielding of the home team continued when they missed out a simple run out of Gambhir by Dilshan again.

Gambhir was finally bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara in the third over for 3 runs and the first wicket was lost at just seven runs. The thrilling batsman of India, Virat Kohli, came in next and started off with a four. Sehwag opened up in the sixth over with a couple of fours and both batsmen enhanced the scoring rate. Kohli got a life as he was dropped on the fourth ball of the 11th ball by Perera on his own bowling for 16 runs.

Sehwag completed his fifty in the 17th over and changed his gears while sending the ball out of the fence freely. Virat Kohli achieved his 22nd half century in the 23rd over and the score board started moving fast by the efforts of the duo. They accumulated 173 runs for the second wicket when Virender Sehwag was unluckily run out for 96 off 97 balls with 10 fours.

Rohit Sharma was gone cheaply for just five runs as Suresh Raina came in the centre. Kohli smashed his 12th ODI century on the fourth ball of the 38th over. He lost his wicket on the last ball of the next over for 106 off 113 deliveries with 9 fours. Raina and MS Dhoni picked up the run rate by scoring briskly, added 16 runs in the 47th over with one six and one four. Suresh Raina attained his fifty in the 49th over but surrendered his wicket in the next over.

MS Dhoni was caught by Lahiru Thirimanne off Perera for 35 as the Blue Shirts amassed 314 runs with four wickets in hand at the end of the 50th over.

Thisara Perera was the highest wicket taker with three whereas Nuwan Kulasekara and Angelo Mathews claimed one wicket each.

Sri Lanka faced a shock when Tillakaratne Dilshan was declared leg before wicket off Irfan Pathan for six at the total of nine runs. The run machine of the Islanders, Kumar Sangakkara, came in the centre and associated with Upul Tharanga. They crept to 41 after 10 overs and found it hard to score the runs at will against the calculated bowling attack of India. The second wicket partnership shared 75 runs when Tharanga was caught by Sehwag in the first slip off Ravichandran Ashwin for 28.

Kumar Sangakkara faced the rival attack bravely and was the major contributor as the wickets kept on sliding from the other end. He went past his fifty in the 25th over as the Lankan Lions were reeling at 4-132 in 28.3 overs. Angelo Mathews secured one end as Sangakkara carried on with his brilliant innings. Mathews added 40 runs for the fifth wicket before he was gone at his individual score of seven runs.

Kumar Sangakkara dispatched his 14th ODI ton on the last ball of the 39th over as the Islanders reached 197 for the loss of six wickets. The all-rounder Thisara Perera made his way to the crease and got together with Sangakkara as the home side kept on fighting. The boundaries started showering from their bats and they scored 78 quick fired runs in 8 .5 overs.

Kumar Sangakkara became the seventh victim after hammering 133 runs from 151 balls with 12 fours. Perera was finally caught by Virat Kohli off Irfan Pathan for 44 off 28 balls with 1 six and 3 fours as Sri Lanka managed 293 runs with one wicket in hand in the required quota of 50 overs.

Irafan Pathan, Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin were the top wicket takers with two wickets each whereas Zaheer Khan and Pragyan Ojha picked one wicket each.

India won an absorbing match by 21 runs and leads the five match series 1-0, the second ODI will be played at the same venue on July 24, 2012.


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