Kohli century guides India to thumping win over Sri Lanka

Kohli century guides India to thumping win over Sri Lanka

Virat Kohli scored his 45th ODI ton to power India to victory in the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Guwahati on Tuesday. The Men in Blue’s preparation for the 2023 ODI World Cup got off to the perfect start as blazing half-centuries from openers Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma gave the hosts the perfect platform with the bat before an 87-ball 113 from Kohli took India to a total of 373 for seven.

Sri Lanka crumbled to 179 for seven in response in the run chase but eventually finished on 306 for eight thanks to a century from their skipper Dasun Shanaka.

The day was defined by the destructive form of the Indian top order. Having been put into bat by Sri Lanka, Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma wasted no time in going after the opposition bowlers in the powerplay. Both batters played plenty of eye-catching strokes to take India to 75 for no loss in the first ten overs. The pair kept up their attacking tempo through the middle and brought up their respective half-centuries.

Dasun Shanaka eventually ended the 143-run stand in the 20th over with the wicket of Gill for 70, and Sharma also missed out on a three-figure score as he inside-edged one from Dilshan Madushanka to fall for 83. Virat Kohli continued the momentum created by the two openers and got off to a brisk start to his innings, adding 24 off his first 16 deliveries. The number three cruised through the middle overs and shared vital partnerships with Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul to set up a grandstand finish.

Kohli was dropped on two occasions by Dasun Shanaka and Kusal Mendis but capitalized on this luck to get to his 45th ODI ton and 9th vs Sri Lanka in just 80 deliveries to take the hosts to a mammoth total of 373 for seven.

In response, Mohammed Siraj removed Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis in the first six overs, leaving Sri Lanka at 38 for two at the end of the powerplay. Pathum Nissanka and Dhananjaya de Silva restored some hope with a brisk 72-run partnership, but the visitors collapsed after Shami nicked off the number four in the 25th over.

Umran Malik bagged a couple of wickets, while Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed fellow leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga to leave Sri Lanka reeling at 179 for seven. However, powered by a fighting knock from their captain, the visitors didn’t go down without a fight. Dasun Shanaka extended his excellent tour by notching up his second ODI century to take Sri Lanka to a more respectable total of 306 for eight in their 50 overs.