India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (L) shakes hands with Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene after India won the first One Day International cricket match in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. (Reuters Photo/Dinuka Liyanawatte)
India survived some jittery moments in the fag end before snatching a thrilling 21-run win over Sri Lanka in the first cricket One-dayer of the five-match series, here today.
Virat Kohli cracked a superb 106 and Virender Sehwag scored 96 runs as their 173-run stand for the second wicket laid the foundation for India's imposing 314 for six after electing to bat.
Diminutive left-hander Suresh Raina (50 off 45) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (35 off 29) added valuable runs towards the end to take the side past 300-run mark. India then restricted the hosts to 293 for nine to take a 1-0 lead in the series, which it needs to win by a 5-0 margin to reclaim the number one position in ODIs.
The hosts' resistance was built around Sangakkara's fighting 133 but he fell short of partners from the other end until he was joined by Thisara Perera, who scored a quick-fire 44 off just 28 balls.
Sangakkara's knock, his 14th ODI hundred and fifth against India, came off 151 balls and included 12 boundaries. Sangakkara and Perera rattled up a 78-run stand for the seventh wicket, giving some anxious moments to India but their effort only reduced the defeat margin. Sri Lanka's fight ended when Sangakkara was bowled by Umesh Yadav in 48th over and Perera was dismissed by Irfan Pathan in the penultimate over. Pathan (2/37), R Ashwin (2/46) and Yadav (2/76) took two wickets each for India. Kohli carried his good form of the last season into the match as he scored his fourth hundred in his last five innings. he blasted nine boundaries in his 113-ball innings.