India defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the first One-Day International to take 1-0 lead in the three-match series on Sunday.
India was captained by Shikhar Dhawan and it was a day to savour for him.
Not only did he top score with a stellar unbeaten 86, he also became India’s 25th men’s ODI captain, 11 years after his ODI debut.
Sri Lanka post decent total
Batting first, Sri Lanka made a decent start, getting to 49 for no loss after nine overs, before Avishka Fernando fell to Chahal.
Interestingly, this was the first time since the 2019 World Cup that Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav bowled together in an ODI for India.
Yadav bagged the next two wickets – Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Minod Bhanuka, both falling in their twenties.
Inability to convert good starts was a recurring problem.
As many as six batters got past 20 but not one managed to reach a half-century.
Krunal Pandya was miserly giving away just 26 in his 10 overs. More importantly, he bagged the all-important wicket of Dhananjaya de Silva who was caught at long-off
The frequent loss of wickets hurt Lanka and when captain Dasun Shanaka fell for 39 off 50 balls, the score stood at 205 for 7 at the end of 44 overs.
There was a late flourish as Chameera and Chamika Karunaratne exploded against Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, scouring 32 off 12 balls.
As a result, Lanka reach a competitive 262 for 9.
For India, the big disappointment was the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar who went wicketless for 63 runs in 9 overs.
Worryingly for Sri Lanka, they played out 159 dot balls.
Shaw in electric form
The Indian innings started explosively, thanks to the mercurial Prithvi Shaw.
Since his debacle in Australia, Prithvi has looked like a man on a mission.
Yet again, Shaw gave proof of his abilities with a blistering knock that looked like a T20 innings.
Oozing aggression from the word go, Shaw smashed 43 off just 23 balls, with nine boundaries.
He punched Dushmantha Chameera through the offside twice in the first over.
He followed this with majestic boundaries off Isuru Udana.
In the fourth over, Shaw hit three successive fours in the arc between point and cover with strokes that would have warmed the hearts of any cricket connoisseur.
For his big-hitting cameo, Shaw was adjudged player of the match.
Ishan Kishan shows his class
Birthday boy Ishan Kishan slammed a brilliant half century on his ODI debut.
Shaw’s aggression seemed to rub off on Kishan as he hit a six off the very first delivery he faced off Dhananjaya de Silva.
Next, he followed it up with a square-driven boundary.
Kishan created history by scoring the second-fastest ODI fifty on debut, off just 33 balls.
After Kishan’s departure, Manish Pandey and Shikhar Dhawan played steadily, taking the total to 215.
Dhawan held the innings together with a well-compiled 86 off 95 balls.
After Pandey got out, Suryakumar Yadav made a quick-fire 31 off 20 balls with five boundaries to help India seal the match.
India reached the target losing just 3 wickets and 80 balls to spare.
The loss to a second-string Indian side raises serious questions about the competitiveness of the Lankan side.
We hope they recover quickly and put up a better fight in the 2nd ODI.
India 263 for 3 (Dhawan 86*, Kishan 59, Shaw 43) beat Sri Lanka 262 for 9 (Karunaratne 43*, Shanaka 39, Kuldeep 2-48, Chahal 2-52) by seven wickets