India Cruise To Victory In Dambulla
India 247-4 (Gambhir 62, Dhoni 61no) beat
Sri Lanka 246-7 (Jayasuriya 107, I Sharma 3-52) by six wickets
1st One Day International, Dambulla
Sanath Jayasuriya's 28th One Day International century was in vain as Sri Lanka lost to India by six wickets in the first One Day International in Dambulla.
Jayasuriya's fine innings helped Sri Lanka reach 246 for seven before half-centuries from Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni eased India to triumph in the 49th over.
Jayasuriya hit ten fours and a six to make 107 in 114 balls to prop up his side's innings after in-form opening partner Tillakaratne Dilshan was run out for a duck in the first over of the match.
He added 118 with Kumar Sangakkara (47) and 51 with Thilina Kandamby (17) before he was caught by Munaf Patel off of Zaheer Khan in the 40th over.
India kept up the pressure with further wickets with only Farveez Maharoof, who hit a swift 35, breaking the shackles despite some late blows from Chamara Kapugedera (15) and Thilan Thushara (12 not out).
Ishant Sharma was the pick of the bowlers with three for 52, including the wicket of Mahela Jayawardene, who made 11 batting at number six.
India also lost an early wicket when Sachin Tendulkar was adjudged lbw to Thilan Thushara for five despite the ball pitching outside off stump.
Gambhir (62) and Raina (54) added 113 runs for the second wicket, playing some fluent shots down the ground but both were guilty of giving their wickets away when well-set.
Gambhir needlessly holed out to Muttiah Muralitharan and Raina ran himself out two overs later. Yuvraj Singh also holed out for 23 but Sri Lanka were unable to contain Dhoni, who finished unbeaten on 61 and Rohit Sharma (25 not out), especially once they took full advantage of the third Power Play after the 42nd over to put the game beyond the home side.
Sri Lanka had earlier dropped both Gambhir and Raina early in their innings, chances they could ill afford to spurn given that they had not kicked on in their own innings to post a score of 280 or more which would have given India more of a challenge.
The second match takes place on Saturday (January 31st) in Colombo.
© Cricket World 2009