Powered by a captain’s knock by Shikhar Dhawan, who slammed his 33rd ODI 50(86 not out, 95b, 6×4, 1×6), a 33-ball explosive half-century by ‘birthday boy’ ‘keeper-bat Kishan (59 off 42 balls) on debut and a 23-ball 43 blitzkrieg by opener Prithvi Shaw, India scored a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the opening ODI at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday night, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
SCORECARD | AS IT HAPPENED
After Kishan and Shaw’s fireworks, Dhawan finished the job with Manish Pandey (26, 40b, 1×4, 1×6) and Suryakumar Yadav (31 not out, 20b, 5×4), another debutant for India on the day, chipping in. Dhawan, who went past 6,000 ODI runs, deserves praise for the way he shed his normally aggressive approach to drop anchor at one end, enabling Kishan and Shaw to score at a fast pace.
Arriving at Shaw’s fall, Kishan carted eight fours and two sixes, to smash the second-fastest fifty by a batsman in his first One-Dayer, keeping the momentum of India’s chase going in fifth gear. Using his feet and dancing down the track repeatedly, Kishan, who celebrated his 23rd birthday in style, was murderous against the spinners.
1st ODI: Dhawan, Kishan star as India thrash Sri Lanka
Kishan benefited from a dropped chance when on 32 at long on off Charith Asalanka in the 13th over, with the shot going for a six. Much to Sri Lanka’s relief, he edged Lakshan Sandakan behind, ending his exciting stint at the crease. If Shaw’s innings was all about timing and placement, Kishan’s knock was about brute power.
Continuing his blazing form, Shaw cracked nine sweetly-timed fours to help India race away to 58 in five overs in pursuit of 262. Driving the ball on the off-side off both the front and back foot, the opener tore into the Lankan pacers to get India off the blocks in a flash. However, perhaps rattled by a blow to his head off a bouncer by Dushmantha Chameera, Shaw seemed to have lost his concentration, as he threw his wicket away, spooning off-spinner Dhananjaya to long on. It ended a stunning cameo.
Earlier, No 8 Chamika Karunaratne stroked an unbeaten 43 off 35 balls, with one four and two sixes in the final over off the struggling Bhuvneshwar Kumar, to help Sri Lanka finish at a challenging 262 for nine after the hosts chose to bat first. Too many Sri Lankan batsmen failed to capitalize on their starts.
India played three spinners, and all of them did well. The match marked the return of the leg-spin duo of Yuzuvendra Chahal and Kuldeep – a pair fondly known as ‘Kulcha.’ Reunited in an ODI for the first time since the World Cup game against England at Edgbaston on June 30, 2019, they picked up four wickets between themselves. Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya also was miserly giving away just 26 runs in his 10 overs and picking a wicket.