Related Links: Sri Lanka Tour of India 2014 – Micromax Cup | Scoreboard of India vs Sri Lanka, 1st ODI at Cuttack
A massive 231-run opening stand between Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan scripted a massive win for Team India in the first ODI at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack last Sunday. Sri Lanka who were given short notice to tour India midway from a fitness program went crashing down to a 169-run defeat.
Above pic: India’s opening batting pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan
It was a good toss for Sri Lanka to win as dew was expected to play a big factor and Angelo Mathews’ bowling attack wasn’t that great on paper. Despite a promising start with the two new balls from Dhammika Prasad and debutant Lahiru Gamage, Sri Lanka struggled to make any inroads. Kumar Sangakkara dropped both Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan to make things worse for the Lankans.
Watch Video Highlights: Shikhar, Ajinkya Rahane punish SL bowlers in 1st ODI
After a slow and steady start, Rahane and Dhawan upped the ante and went on to score centuries. The 28-year-old Shikhar Dhawan who registered his 6th ODI century was dismissed in the 35th over when he dragged a slog sweep off Ashan Priyanjan on to his stumps. Shikhar Dhawan scored 113 in 107 balls with 14 fours and 3 sixes.
For the 26-year-old Ajinkya Rahane, it was a 2nd ODI century and the Mumbaiker departed in the 38th over spooning a full toss from Suraj Randiv to extra covers. Rahane finished with a well paced knock of 111 from 108 balls with 13 fours and 2 sixes. India thanks to this double century opening stand and also a blistering 52 from just 34 balls (with 4 fours and 3 sixes) by Suresh Raina in his 200th ODI finished with a big total of 363 for 5. For the Lankans, Suraj Randiv in his comeback match got pounded for 78 runs in his 10 overs although he had the consolation of taking three wickets.
Sri Lanka’s difficult run chase of 364 was going nowhere as India’s tearaway quicks Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav beat its openers for pace and movement. India received a big blow when Varun Aaron after bowling an impressive spell of 4.1-0-26-0 broke down with an injury before leaving the field. The pressure on the visitors was sustained though with Tillakaratne Dilshan top edging a cut shot off a bouncy ball from Umesh Yadav to Wriddhiman Saha with SL at 31 for 1 in the 9th over.
Ishant Sharma who also worked up some sharp speeds forced Kumar Sangakkara to edge him behind for 13 leaving Sri Lanka at 61 for 2 in the 14th over. Upul Tharanga who struggled to score 28 from 53 balls chipped R Ashwin to long on in the 17th over while Seekkuge Prasanna cut Akshar Patel into the hands of backward point in the 22nd over.
The match was as good as over when Mahela Jayawardene drove Akshar Patel into the hands of Virat Kohli at extra covers. Mahela Jayawardene was looking in fine touch until then with 43 from 36 balls and his dismissal saw Sri Lanka slip to 130 for 5 in the 26th over.
Sri Lanka’s last hope Skipper Angelo Mathews was dismissed for 23 in the 31st over when he slogged Suresh Raina into the hands of mid wicket. India took 39.2 overs to wrap up the Sri Lankan innings. The visitors were shot out for 194 with only Thisara Perera offering any sort of resistance in the end scoring 29. Ishant Sharma was the pick of the bowlers getting the ball to jag away with bounce to take 4 for 34 in 8 overs. Umesh Yadav took 2 for 24 in 6.2 overs besides a couple of maidens.
Akshar Patel continued to impress taking 2 for 24 in 6 overs while Suresh Raina produced 1 for 24 in 5 overs. R Ashwin was steady with 1 for 52 in 9 overs. The Man of the Match award was given to Ajinkya Rahane. The second ODI of the Micromax Cup 2014 will be at Ahmedabad on the 6th of this month.