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Rahane, Dhawan centuries help India humiliate Sri Lanka

Last updated on: November 02, 2014 21:58 IST
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India's openers Shikhar Dhawan (left) and Ajinkya Rahane. Photograph: BCCI

Openers Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan slammed centuries as India humiliated Sri Lanka by 169 runs in the first One-Day International in Cuttack, on Sunday.

- Scorecard

Rahane smashed 111 from 108 balls for his second ODI century while Dhawan hit 107-ball 113. The duo put on 231 runs for the opening wicket to lift India to a mammoth 363 for five after they were put in to bat.

In reply, Sri Lanka were bowled out for a paltry 194 in 39.1 overs. as India, despite missing regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, stormed to a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Ajinkya Rahane. Photograph: BCCI

It was Dhawan's first hundred since his 119 against the West Indies in Kanpur in November last year, and sixth overall. The two Indian openers capitalised on dropped chances by veteran wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara.

Suresh Raina, appearing in his 200th ODI, also did his bit, striking a quick-fire 52 off 34 balls.

Shikhar Dhawan celebrates after completing his century. Photograph: BCCI

India's fast bowlers, led by Ishant Sharma, never let Sri Lanka off the hook as the visitors kept losing wickets at regular intervals.

Delhi lad Ishant made an impressive comeback to the ODI side after a gap of a year, registering splendid figures of four for 34 in eight overs on a pitch offering some extra bounce to the fast bowlers.

He had both Kumar Sangakkara (13) and Ashan Priyanjan (12) caught behind and later added two lower-order batsmen to his kitty.

Seasoned campaigner Mahela Jaywardene put up some resistance with a fiery 43 off 36 balls for the Lankans but other batsmen failed to put up a fight.

Skipper Angelo Mathews (23) tried to dig in but half of his side was back in pavilion by the half-way mark in their chase at a score of 126 and he too could not survive long.

Suresh Raina of India hits out. Photograph: BCCI

India received an injury scare as paceman Varun Aaron left the field grimacing in pain after bowling the first ball of the 13th over. Aaron, who clocked 152kph in the first over, chatted with Kohli as the physio was called.

The teams will travel to Ahmedabad for the second match on Thursday.

The Lankan batters, which had the experience of Sangakkara, Jayawardene and Tillkaratne Dilshan, unlike the weak bowling link, hardly showed any appetite as nobody stood firm to anchor the big chase.

Aaron and Umesh Yadav (2/24) gave the Sri Lankan batsmen a lot of trouble with their extra pace and bounce.

Dilshan (18) was the first to go, Yadav making the breakthrough in the ninth over, while Ishant claimed the big scalp of Sangakkara (13).

Jayawardene looked untroubled before he lost patience driving straight to Kohli at short cover to give rookie left-arm spinner Akshar Patel his second wicket.

Patel was very impressive, bowling with a flat trajectory outside the off-stump line and he nearly got a third in Mathews but Raina misjudged the line in the slips.

Patel had also impressed with his big-hitting skills as he spanked Dhammika Prasad for two consecutive sixes in the last over of the innings in his unbeaten 14 off four balls.

Much had been written about Sri Lanka's under preparedness for the series organised after the West Indies pull out from a full length series and it came to fore with their sloppy fielding and a depleted attack that lacked sting in the absence of Lasith Malinga and Rangana Herath.

Sangakkara dropped Dhawan on 10 and Rahane on 38 in what would have been routine diving catches behind the stumps.

Umesh Yadav (left) celebrates after taking a wicket. Photograph: BCCI

The two Indian openers started off cautiously, with 14 runs coming from the first five overs, and the first Powerplay yielded just 43 with 44 dot balls but the Lankan attack started becoming wayward, while Sangakkara's two reprieves injected the spark the duo needed.

Rahane started stepping out and even pulled at ease with the Lankans bowling short while left-handed Dhawan too complemented his partner to give the Indian run-rate the much needed push in the middle overs.

Rahane completed his 50 from 61 balls, while Dhawan who was a tad slower struck two fours and one six to Suraj Randiv in a 21-run 21st over to reach his half-century in 64 balls.

India's third 50 came in just 31 deliveries as the run-rate jumped to six as the openers started toying with the Lankan attack.

Ishant Sharma (centre) celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of Suraj Randiv. Photograph: BCCI

Rahane completed his century with a gentle push to long-on in the 32nd over while Dhawan too got the monkey off the back, scoring his first century in 19 matches with a six over mid-wicket off leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna.

Just when the duo looked unstoppable Ashan Priyanjan gave the first breakthrough as Dhawan dragged back one back on to his stumps attempting the slog sweep.

Randiv might be expensive conceding 78 runs from his 10 over quota but he was their most successful bowler with three wickets to his tally including that of Rahane and stand-in skipper Virat Kohli, who made 22.

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