Dharamsala: Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s lone battle ended in vain as India went down to Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series in Dharamsala on Sunday.
But the former captain became the second wicket-keeper after Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara to reach to 16,000 ODI runs.
It was one nightmarish performance for the bat for India as they were eventually bowled out for a meagre 112 from 38.2 overs. On a pitch where all the Indian batsmen failed, Dhoni silenced his critics with a fighting 65 of 87 deliveries with 10 fours and two sixes. Only two others made double-digit scores- Kuldeep Yadav (19) and Hardik Pandya (10).
Pacer Suranga Lakmal, who had rattled the Indian batting on the first day of the first test match in Kolkata once again was too hot to handle by the Indian batsmen, who put up a hapless show. The first wicket, that of Shikhar Dhawan fell in the every first over and that set the tone for the rest of the innings to follow. Nuwan Pradeep was the next best bowler with figures of 2/37 while Akila Dananjaya, Angelo Mathews and skipper Thisara Perera and Sachith Pathirana took one wicket each.
The biggest positive for the Indians was, Dhoni’s gritty innings. The right-hander slowly built his innings as wickets kept tumbling at the other end and had it not been for his knock, India might have had to suffer more embarrassment.
Chasing 113, the Sri Lankan innings also didn’t begin on a good note as they lost Danushka Gunathilaka with seven runs on the board. Former skipper Upul Tharanga too played a handy 49-run knock after which Mathews (25 n.o) and wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella (26 n.o) finished things off in just 10.4 overs.
Sri Lanka 114/3 (Upul Tharanga 49, Niroshan Dickwella 26 n.o; Jasprit Bumrah 1/32) beat India 112 all out ( Mahendra Singh Dhoni 67, Kuldeep Yadav 19; Suranga Lakmal 4/13) by 7 wickets.