Sri Lanka skipper Thisara Perera won the toss and asked the hosts to bat first. A Rohit Sharma-led India were toppled for just 112 runs, setting-up a comfortable chase for the islanders.
We look at the good and bad of the first ODI as the visitors take a 1-0 lead in the series.
SURANGA LAKMAL DISMANTLES INDIA’S TOP ORDER
Making full use of the conditions on offer at the lively pitch in Dharamshala, Lakmal was on song throughout his 10-over spell.
The pacer generated generous seam movement and bowled excellent lines as he forced the Indian batsmen to play at every delivery. Such was his effectiveness that Perera asked him to bowl his 10 overs on the trot.
Lakmal removed Sharma, Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey before removing Bhuvenshwar Kumar to complete a four-wicket haul. The pacer also bowled four maiden overs giving away a miserly 14 runs in his full quota of overs.
MS DHONI SAVES INDIA’S BLUSHES
At 15-5 and then subsequently 29-7, the hosts were in danger of breaking an unwanted record. They were in line to succumb to the lowest ODI total in history with Zimbabwe’s 35 runs being the previous record.
MS Dhoni though, as he has done so many times in the past, dug in with a resolute innings despite the failures of others. The veteran made full use of his experience as he shielded the tail while launching into the Sri Lankan bowlers whenever the opportunity presented itself.
The 36-year-old notched up 67th ODI fifty to give India’s innings some degree of semblance before becoming the last man to get out. If not for Dhoni, it would have been an even bleaker picture for the hosts.
INDIAN BATSMEN’S POOR TECHNIQUE AGAINST SWING AND SEAM COSTS THEM DEAR
India’s batsmen continue to make merry on the flat pitches conducive for batting in the subcontinent but have repeatedly come undone when confronted with swinging and seaming conditions.
The pitch at Dharamshala might have made for the perfect preparation for the upcoming tour of South Africa though the hosts would have preferred the surface for the recently concluded Test series.
Nevertheless, India’s top order looked in all sorts of trouble on Saturday as Lakmal and the Sri Lankans made the ball talk. No one had the technique to see the swinging ball through as the batsmen fell one after the other like a house of cards.
That they came so close to setting an unwanted record against a team on a 12-match losing streak should come as a wake-up call to Sharma and his men.
DINESH KARTHIK SETS UNWANTED RECORD
The 32-year-old Tamil Nadu batsman is looking to seal a place in India’s limited-overs setup after he was recalled after a long time in India’s ODI series against Australia.
With competition running high for the number spot and Kedhar Jadhav having to miss out of the series due to an injury, this was the perfect platform for Karthik to confirm his credentials.
However, the right-handed batsman was worked over beautifully by Lakmal as Karthik’s technique was tested to the limit. He survived dangerously for 17 deliveries before Lakmal got his reward.
Karthik departed without scoring a run and the 18 deliveries faced by him is the highest for any India batsmen who have scored a duck in ODI cricket.
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