India face humiliation vs Sri Lanka in Dharamsala, trail three-match series 0-1
Sri Lanka pace spearheaded Suranga Lakmal snaps up four with only MS Dhoni, who hit his 67th fifty, showing resistance for India in the seven-wicket loss at DharamsalaUpdated: Dec 10, 2017 18:30 IST
Due to the onset of winter in this hill station, India’s first ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday had to be rescheduled into a day affair. However, it was the hosts who felt the chill down their spine.
Struggling to tackle the bounce and the swing produced by the Sri Lankan pacers, India crumbled to 112 all out. The score would have been far less but for a defiant 65 by MS Dhoni.
Sri Lanka chased down the target in 20.4 overs, Upul Tharanga top-scoring with 49. Sri Lanka took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Eight Indian batsmen fell to Sri Lanka pace bowlers, mostly edging to first slip and wicketkeeper or falling lbw. Spearhead Suranga Lakmal did the maximum damage, taking 4/13.
The mountain breeze and morning conditions helped the ball move after new Sri Lanka skipper Thisara Perera won the toss and chose to bowl. But Indian batsmen showed poor footwork in tackling the likes of Lakmal and the late swing.
Lankans breathe fire
All-rounder Angelo Mathews handed India the first jolt in the second over as he trapped Shikhar Dhawan in front. The left-handed opener tried to play across to a swinging delivery which hit his pad. The umpire gave Dhawan not out, but the use of DRS helped Sri Lanka draw first blood.
It was again an intelligent use of the DRS which got Sri Lanka their second wicket. Rohit poked at a Suranga Lakmal delivery that took off on pitching, and wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella claimed the catch. Umpire Anil Chaudhary was unmoved, but DRS showed a thin edge. India were 2/2 in five overs.
Sri Lankan bowlers were breathing fire in ideal conditions. Bounce on the pitch, and the mountain breeze that aided swing bowling, made life tough for the India batsmen.
Runs were hard to come by. Dinesh Karthik, batting at No 4, fell for nought, after playing 18 balls, to Lakmal. The Sri Lankan pacer struck again in the 13th over, dismissing Manish Pandey, who edged to Mathews at first slip.
Debutant Shreyas Iyer was the next to follow, bowled by Nuwan Pradeep in the 14th over.
Down by five wickets with less than 20 runs on board, Pandya came to the crease. He and Dhoni were the ideal batsmen to revive the innings and much was expected from them.
But Pandya, back after being rested, also repeated the mistakes of the other batsman. He too edged a Nuwan Pradeep delivery to Mathews at first slip. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, also back after a short break to get married, was caught behind off Lakmal as India were reduced to 29/7.
At that stage, it looked like India would not reach their lowest ever score of 54 (against Sri Lanka in Sharjah, 2000).
But Dhoni and Kuldeep Yadav (19) showed resistance with a 53-ball 41-run stand. After the latter fell to spinner Akila Dananjaya, Dhoni comined with Jasprit Bumrah to add 17 runs. Dhoni dealt in fours and sixes towards the end and shared in a 25-run stand with No 11 Yuzvendra Chahal.
During the last two stands, Dhoni alone scored. His defiant innings for his 67th half-century took India past 100. He finally fell to a catch by Danushka Gunathilaka off Thisara Perera as India set Sri Lanka a 113-run target.
Bhuvi, Bumrah’s early breakthroughs
Despite defending a low total, slim hopes were raised that India might overcome the odds when Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar troubled the Sri Lanka batsmen, who were beaten on numerous occasions.
Bumrah got Gunathilaka in the fourth over and Bhuvneshwar reduced Sri Lanka to 19/2 when he bowled Lahiru Thirimanne.
But Tharanga scored a 46-ball 49 to ensure Sri Lanka were on course for victory.
First Published: Dec 10, 2017 11:24 IST