Cuttack, Nov 2 :
Twin centuries by openers Ajinkya Rahane (111) and Shikhar Dhawan (113) helped India register a mammoth 169-run win in the first of the five One-Day Internationals (ODI) against Sri Lanka at the Barabati Stadium in Odisha’s Cuttack city Sunday.
After being put in to bat, the openers posted a 231-run partnership to help India reach a huge total of 363/5 in 50 overs and in reply Sri Lanka surrendered at 194 all out in 39.2 overs.
During the Indian innings, Suresh Raina (52), Virat Kohli (22) and Ambati Rayudu (27) also contributed to the total after the strong foundation laid by Rahane and Dhawan.
Left-hander Dhawan milked 14 boundaries and three sixes to score his sixth century before he chopped a ball from Ashan Priyaranjan on to his stumps when the scorecard read 231/1 in 35 overs.
Three overs later, Rahane followed him to the pavilion after collecting 13 fours and two sixes which helped him score his second century.
The 25-year-old right-hander from Mumbai stepped out to hit a full toss bowled by offie Suraj Randiv and the the ball went straight into the hands of long-off fielder Mahela Jayawardene. But the damage had already been done and later Raina, Kohli and Rayudu capitalised on the good start.
Raina, who was playing his 200th ODI, took only 34 deliveries to reach his 32nd fifty and forged useful partnerships with Kohli and Rayudu to help India set a big target.
For Sri Lanka, off-spinner Suraj Randiv picked up three wickets for 78 runs.
In pursuit of 364, Sri Lanka failed to get it going from the start and never got a partnership which was necessary to chase the total. Experienced opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (18) slashed an outswinger from Umesh Yadav but ended up edging it to the hands of wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.
Veteran Kumar Sangakkara (13) also lost his wicket by edging an Ishant Sharma delivery, to leave the team in trouble with the scorecard reading 61/2 in 13.2 overs.
The responsibility then fell on opener Upul Tharanga and veteran Jayawardene. But the left-handed Tharanga, who was playing well for his 28, lost his wicket while trying to hit against the turn of a Ravichandran Ashwin ball which landed in the hands of Shikhar Dhawan. Next man in Seekkuge Prasanna (5) offered a simple catch to Rahane at backward point off spinner Axar Patel.
Veteran batsman Jayawardene did his best and collected six boundaries and one six before he was caught by skipper Kohli off Axar, leaving the team in more than a spot of bother with the score at 130/5 in 25.1 overs. Visiting skipper Angelo Mathews (23) felt the pressure and offered a catch to Axar off a Suresh Raina delivery.
Later Ishant removed Priyaranjan (12), Randiv (5) and Dhammika Prasad (0) early to completely turn the match in India’s favour.
Despite the brief resistance from all-rounder Thisara Perera, whose big-hitting gave him 29 runs, Ishant’s line and length proved too hot to handle for Sri Lankan tail-enders. Perera’s quick fire ended when his big heave off a Yadav ball, was caught on the long-on boundary by Ishant.