Batsmen fail India in the opening ODI

Updated: 21 August 2008 15:49 IST

India's forlorn batting against fiery Sri Lankan bowling handed the visitors an eight-wicket thrashing in their first One-Day International on Monday.


India's forlorn batting, depleted further by the absence of Virender Sehwag, against fiery Sri Lankan bowling handed the visitors an eight-wicket thrashing in their first One-Day International match on Monday.

India were skittled out for 146 in 46 overs as none of its batsmen could fire up, Yuvraj Singh being the top-scorer at 23, against spinners Ajantha Mendis (3-21) and Muttiah Muralitharan (3-37), who shared the spoils after Mahendra Singh Dhoni elected to bat.

Sri Lanka comfortably chased the win in 34.5 overs as skipper Mahela Jayawardene (61 not out) hit a breezy half century while Chamara Kapugedera contributed 45 to take the side home.

The Indian team, playing without Sachin Tendulkar who is ruled out of the series owing to his left elbow injury, also missed the services of Sehwag as the opener injured his ankle during practice session on the match eve.

Indians never looked like settling down as they were tottering at 36 for 3 after losing both openers - Gautam Gambhir and debutant Virat Kohli -- cheaply and slumped further to 75 for 5 in the 21st over before the last three batsmen contributed 59 runs.

Earlier, Veteran paceman Chaminda Vaas and young gritty medium pacer Nuwan Kulasekara kept the Indian batsmen on tight leash with the visitors scoring just 29 runs in the first 10 overs.

With this victory, Sri Lanka have taken a 1-0 lead in the five One-dayer series.

Gambhir, opening with 19-year-old Kohli, was removed by Vaas on the second ball of the innings. The left-hander batsman played all around the line to a good length delivery from Vaas, with the ball slipping between his bat and pad to hit the off stump.

Kohli, who replaced Sehwag, began on a shaky note too, playing and missing away-moving swingers but was lucky not to get a snick. He contributed only 12 before finally being adjudged LBW to a delivery off Nuwan Kulasekara.

Next man in, Suresh Raina started off emphatically hitting two fours -- one to mid-off boundary off Kulasekara and then to mid-wicket fence -- but returned to the pavilion, leaving India tottering at 36 for 3 in the 12th over.

Raina tried to drive a Kulasekara full length delivery only to pop up a simple catch to short cover at his individual score of 17.

Yuvraj was lucky to be dropped by Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene at second slip when he played a Kulasekara delivery away from his body.

Though Jayawardene got his hands on the ball, it eventually popped out, saving India from further damage.

The droppped catch did not yield much for India as Mendis consumed the dangerous looking left-hander who swatted the young Lankan mystery bowler in the previous delivery for a six.

Rohit Sharma tried to steady the sinking ship and kept prodding for ones and twos and also hit a six off Vaas over the midwicket boundary, bringing in some cheer in the downcast Indian camp.

It was, however, the handiwork of Thilan Thushara to plot the downfall of Sharma who edged a short length delivery to the first slip where Jayawardene made no mistake this time.

India were on the ropes at 75 for 5 but it felt all was not lost with Dhoni at the crease. However, the captain failed too and India were in deep trouble and after Irfan Pathan's departure in the 29th over it looked like the visitors would not cross 100-run mark.

But Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Munaf Patel defied the Lankan bowlers for 17.3 overs.

Harbhajan shared two 20-run partnerships -- with Zaheer for the eighth wicket and with Pragyan Ojha for the ninth wicket - before he was out ninth for individula score of 12.

The last wicket of Ojha and Munaf yielded 29 runs in nine overs.

The hosts, cheered by their home crowd and egged on by the dancing fans amidst beating of drums were hardly troubled by the Indian bowlers in their innings.

Sri Lankans scored as many as 18 runs in the first five overs. Kumara Sanghakkara took off from where he left in the third Test in Colombo and began with a cut to the point boundry of a Munaf Patel delivery.

A relatively subdued Sanath Jayasuriya was also quick to capitalise on a loose ball from Patel as he edged it one bounce over wicket keeper Dhoni's head for a boundary.

Jayasuriya, however, did not last long and was caught by Irfan Pathan at mid-on for 10 runs of Patel.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene made a flying start as he converted a Zaheer delivery to half-volley and drove it through the gap at cover boundary.

The wicket-keeper batsman, wanting to spare no time in finishing it off, executed a perfect cut off Irfan Pathan through the cover fence.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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