Colombo, July 18 (IANS) Shikhar Dhawan hit an unbeaten 86 in his first match as Indian team skipper and Ishan Kishan blew 59 out of 42 balls on ODI debut as India threw hosts Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the first ODI of the three -match series here on Sunday.
The team, coached by Rahul Dravid, was called by the Sri Lankan World Cup captain Arjuna Ranatunga a “second-string side” before the start of the tour. And even though the hosts were forced to field a ‘different’ team after some key players had to be left out due to disciplinary reasons and injuries, the Indians were clinical in carrying out their plans and won the match without sweating.
Dhawan led from the front and anchored the innings as teammate Opener Prithvi Shaw and then No. 3 Ishan Kishan blew up Sri Lankan bowling as India, after limiting the hosts to 262/9 in 50 overs, chased the goal with 80 balls to spare.
Skipper Dhawan’s undefeated 86 came out of 95 deliveries as the Indians remained in control all the time, reaching 263 to three in 36.4 overs.
Dhawan and Shaw had set the ball in motion by raising 58 runs to the opening goal before Shaw was caught by Avishka Fernando off Dhananjaya de Silva (2/49). Dhawan continued to be on guard at the other end as Kishan walked around and ran and India was in cruise mode.
In the past, India limited the Sri Lankans to a modest 262 for nine in their allotted 50 overs thanks to some good work by Deepak Chahar (2/37), Yuzvendra Chahal (2/52) and Kuldeep Yadav (2/48).
Chamika Karunaratne was the top scorer for Sri Lanka with an unbeaten 43. Many of their players came in double figures but could not place a big score.
Short scores: Sri Lanka 262/9 in 50 overs (Avishka Fernando 33, Charith Asalanka 38, Dasun Shanaka 39, Chamika Karunaratne 43 not out; Deepak Chahar 2/37, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/52, Kuldeep Yadav 2/48). India 263/3 in 36.4 overs (Prithvi Shaw 43, Shikhar Dhawan 86 not out, Ishan Kishan 59, Suryakumar Yadav 31 not out, Dhananjaya de Silva 2/49).
bsk / kh