Sri Lanka finally made a mark in the tour thumping India for a startling defeat. The Dharamshala match, first of the three match series, ended as a doom of team India, all wreaked in hands of Sri Lanka bowlers. The collapse in 112 runs exposed team India’s limitations when attacked in a swing and seam condition. The win by 7 wickets with 176 balls remaining is a remarkable comeback for team Sri Lanka after losing 12 ODIs in a row. Suranga Lakmal, the spearhead attack finishing with 4 wickets in 10 overs set the havoc in India’s batting over. While India batsman could scratch out only 13 runs out of him, they could withstand only 38.2 overs in the match.
India would have plunged into the lowest total ever in ODI losing 7 wickets in 26 runs. The rot came down only in 16.4 overs. It was MS Dhoni who refused to leave the crease as others did. The former captain scored 65 runs partnering short stretches with the lower order. Earlier in the inning, team India could only score 2 runs in the first five overs. In 10 overs, the team scored only 11. This tally is the lowest in an ODI between two full members in last five years.
In the chase, India bowlers were average, but defending the low score emerged impractical. Sri Lanka played only 20.4 overs in the match thumping the victory. Bumrah took down opener Dhanushka Gunathilaka in the fourth over, while Lahiru Thrimanne got removed in the 7th over. Upul Tharanga added an impressive 49 off 46 balls steering the inning to the 13th over. Angelo Mathews and Niroshan Dickwella was on the last mile to cake walk to victory. Mathews scored 25 and Dickwella added 26 runs partnering for 49 runs.
Sri Lanka played 26 ODIs in the year and the recent one is only their fourth. In the after-match interview, stand-in captain Rohit Sharma said that the match was an ‘eye-opener’ and the team will learn from it. India played without captain Virat Kohli, who was rested from the series to offer a break from stringent schedules.
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