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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PHOTOS: Kohli powers India to big win over Sri Lanka

PHOTOS: Kohli powers India to big win over Sri Lanka

Source: PTI
Last updated on: January 10, 2023 22:49 IST
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IMAGES from the 1st ODI played between India and Sri Lanka in Guwahati on Tuesday.

Virat Kohli celebrates after completing his century during the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Guwahati on Tuesday

IMAGE: Virat Kohli celebrates after completing his century during the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Guwahati on Tuesday. Photograph: BCCI

An authoritative Virat Kohli headlined India's utterly dominant performance with his 45th ODI hundred as the hosts pummelled Sri Lanka by 67 runs in the first of the three-match series in Guwahati on Tuesday.

 

Asked to bat first, India rode on former skipper Kohli's 87-ball 113 and fluent half-centuries from his successor Rohit Sharma (83) and Shubman Gill (70) to rake up an imposing 373 for seven in their allotted quota of overs on a batting-friendly strip. 

In reply, the Sri Lankans were never in the hunt and ended at 306 for eight in 50 overs to hand the hosts a 1-0 lead in the rubber.

Mohammed Siraj celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Avishka Fernando. 

IMAGE: Mohammed Siraj celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Avishka Fernando. Photograph: BCCI

After opener Pathum Nissanka fell for 72, visiting captain Dasun Shanaka waged a lone battle and produced a counterattacking century, even as the others failed to put up any resistance.

In the end, Shanaka remained not out on 108 off 88 balls.

Young speed merchants Umran Malik (3/57) and Mohammed Siraj (2/30) then put the icing on the cake in a lopsided game.

Continuing his blazing form into the New Year, Kohli slammed his 73rd international hundred overall and made the Lankans pay for two dropped catches.

Mohammed Siraj celebrates the wicket of Kusal Mendis.

IMAGE: Mohammed Siraj celebrates the wicket of Kusal Mendis. Photograph: BCCI

The exuberant Siraj once again bowled splendidly with the new ball and reduced the Islanders to 23/2 inside six overs to set the tone.

He first dismissed Avishka Fernando and then rattled Kusal Mendis's timber with a scorching delivery to cap a superb opening spell of 5-1-15-2, laced with 25 dot balls.

But Nissanka held on and stood in two crucial partnerships with Dhananjaya de Silva (47) and Charith Asalanka (23) when India operated with spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal (1/58) and Axar Patel (0/32 from five overs) in the middle overs.

Amid heavy dew, Malik came to bowl in the middle overs and struck thrice, dismissing Asalanka, Nissanka and Dunith Wellalage to reduce Lanka to 179/7 in 33.2 overs.

From there though, Shanaka held fort en route his second ODI century that came in the penultimate ball of their innings, after Rohit withdrew an appeal for run out at the non-striker's end after the batter had backed up too far.

Virat Kohli looked in prime touch 

IMAGE: Virat Kohli looked in prime touch. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, making full use of two dropped chances, Kohli smashed his 45th ODI hundred to propel India to an imposing 373 for seven against Sri Lanka in the series-opener in Guwahati on Tuesday.

Kohli, who scored 113 against Bangladesh in Chattogram in India's last ODI, continued from where he left off to play the sheet anchor role with his 87-ball 113.

The class of Kohli was on full display as he smashed 12 fours and one six and held on to one end while wickets fell at regular intervals in the middle overs.

Virat Kohli hits a boundary 

IMAGE: Virat Kohli hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

At a venue where he had scored a century (140 vs West Indies) in the only ODI held in Guwahati four years back, the former India skipper had luck by his side.

He was dropped twice -- on 52 and 81 -- en route his 45th ODI century, four shy of maestro Sachin Tendulkar's all-time record of 49 centuries in the 50-over format.

Overall, Kohli has now hit 73 International centuries. To go with his 45 ODI hundreds, he has 27 in the Test format and one in T20Is.

Rohit Sharma hits a six 

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma hits a six. Photograph: BCCI

Skipper Rohit Sharma responded to the criticism of benching the in-form duo of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav by giving India a solid start in the company of Shubman Gill.

The Indian skipper had preferred Gill over Ishan who had to sit out despite a record-breaking 210 in India's last one-dayer.

Rohit slammed a 67-ball 83 (9x4, 3x6) in a knock of sheer domination.

On a flat deck, Rohit was at ease to step out to the Lankan pacers, pulling them with nonchalance en route to a 41-ball fifty.

Shubman Gill drives the ball for a boundary.

IMAGE: Shubman Gill drives the ball to the boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Gill was also at his fluent best and complemented his skipper while batting with his trademark flair and elegance.

Continuing his dream run in ODIs, Gill brought up his fifth half-century that came off 51 balls.

It was one-way traffic for the Indian opening duo before Dasun Shanaka dismissed Gill. The youngster was guilty of playing across the line and was trapped in front of the wicket.

Dasun Shanaka celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Shubman Gill

IMAGE: Dasun Shanaka celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Shubman Gill. Photograph: BCCI

Looking to bring an end to his century drought, Rohit too perished in addition of 30 runs to the total. He was cleaned up by debutant Dilshan Madushanka.

The run-rate slowed down and it was a welcome respite for Sri Lanka who till then were staring at a 400-plus target.

The home team slowly gained the lost momentum with Kohli and Shreyas Iyer (28) taking charge of the middle-overs.

Sri Lanka's players celebrate after Dhananjaya de Silva claimed the wicket of Shreyas Iyer. 

IMAGE: Sri Lanka's players celebrate after Dhananjaya de Silva claimed the wicket of Shreyas Iyer. Photograph: BCCI

Having got the nod ahead of Suryakumar Yadav, Iyer looked fluent and hit Wanindu Hasaranga for a six. But he failed to convert his start.

Under fire KL Rahul (39) also could not make it big and was bowled around the legs after being deceived by a slower one from Kasun Rajitha.

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