Hambantota: Virat Kohli seems to be in the form of his life. The Indian vice-captain hammered the 12th century of his career to help India begin their tour to Sri Lanka on a winning note as Dhoni and his brigade made full use of the conditions to beat Lankan Tigers by 21 runs in the first ODI of the one-day series here on Saturday.
Electing to bat, India lost opener Gautam Gambhir cheaply in the very third over, Kohli joined his Delhi team-mate Virender Sehwag to start India’s onslaught against the Lankans. Though Sehwag was edgy in the beginning, he made full use of the given chances to score 96, adding 173 runs for the second wicket with Kohli. The youngster in the meantime seemed to have started from where he left his last innings against Mahela Jayawardene’s team, as the Delhi batsman hit his third consecutive hundred against the Lankans and his fourth in last five ODI innings. Later skipper MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina made some useful contributions to take India’s total to 314.
The target of 315 was also going to be a tough ask for the hosts. Paired with Umesh Yadav, irfan Pathan and Pragyan Ojha, the Zaheer and Ashwin ensured that the work done by Virat Kohli (106 off 113) and Virender Sehwag (96 off 97) did not come shockingly undone.
Zaheeer and Ojha helped themselves to a wicket each as despite the display of lusty blows towards the end, the target proved to be too much to bring down. Ashwin, Pathan and Umesh claimed two from the match with the seamers mopping up the tail.
Sri Lanka were given some hope by Sangakkara as the former skipper hammered 133 off 151 balls but he was unable to take the hosts all the way. Sri Lanka, let down by most of their other batters, finished at 293 for in their 50 overs losing the series opener by 21 runs.
By Indian Sports News Network