India 314-6 (Kohli 106) beat
Sri Lanka 293-9 (Sangakkara 133) by 21 runs
First One-Day International, Hambantota
A late rally from Kumar Sangakkara and Thisara Perera wasn’t enough to help Sri Lanka overhaul India’s impressive total of 314 for six in the first One-Day International in Hambantota. That total was built around a second-wicket partnership of 173 between Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli.
The pair came together following the loss of Gautam Gambhir in the third over and scored at almost a run a ball as they milked the home side’s attack. Sehwag eventually fell four short of what would have been his 16th ODI century as he was run-out at the non-striker’s end. Kohli had no such problems and brought up his 12th century from 106 balls. During the course of the innings, he had equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s Indian record of five consecutive scores of 50 or more and he now had his third straight ton against Sri Lanka to boot.
He departed at the end of the 40th over for 106 and it looked as if India may struggle to accelerate in the final ten. However, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni plundered 64 off the final six overs, with Raina hitting 50 from 45 balls and Dhoni 35 from 29.
Sri Lanka struggled for much of their reply as, having lost Tillakaratne Dilshan early on, they could manage only 41 runs during the mandatory powerplay as Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan found movement with the new ball. R Ashwin then took over, and, although Upul Tharanga and Kumar Sangakkara put on 77 for the second-wicket, they took 105 balls to do so and pushed the asking rate up considerably.
The middle-order predictably panicked when faced with almost eight-an-over and never got going, and it was left to Thisara Perera, as it so often is, to show some fight. He and Sangakkara added 78 in just 53 balls for the seventh-wicket, with Perera scoring the majority of them. He was eventually out to Irfan Pathan for 44 from 28 balls to end any hopes the home side had of forcing a win. Sangakkara had fallen an over earlier for 133 from 151 balls and they ended on 293 for nine to lose by 21 runs.
The second match in the series is on Tuesday, also in Hambantota, before the teams move onto Colombo and Pallekele.
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