Dhawan, Kohli star as India beat Sri Lanka by 9 wickets in the series opener
Dambulla: Power-packed innings from Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli guided India to a comfortable nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in their first One Day International (ODI) at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium here on Sunday.
Dhawan slammed 132 runs in 90 balls while Kohli smashed 82 runs off 70 deliveries. Both players forged a 197-run partnership for the second wicket, the highest in Sri Lanka against Sri Lanka.
It all went good for India in this match. After a little bit of punishment initially, their bowlers bounced back in style to restrict the hosts for 216 and then Dhawan and Kohli applied themselves perfectly to chase down the total with 21.1 overs (127 balls) to spare. This also helped them to record their biggest win, in terms of overs to spare, for a target of over 200.
Coming in to chase a relatively low total, openers Rohit Sharma and Dhawan started the innings on a steady note but Rohit failed to support the Delhi batsman for long as he was dismissed in the fifth over with barely 23 runs on the board.
Incoming batsman and skipper Kohli, along with Dhawan, then paced up the innings by thrashing the Sri Lankan bowlers all around the park. It was raining boundaries in the ground and stopped only after they reached the target. Dhawan slammed 20 boundaries and three sixes while Kohli hit 10 boundaries and one six.
Earlier, Sri Lanka wasted a good start to allow Indian spinners to bounce back in style and restrict the hosts to 216. For Sri Lanka, openers Niroshan Dickwella (64) and Anjelo Mathews (36 not out) were the major contributors to the cause.