Nagpur: India today registered a 152-run victory over Sri Lanka in the first cricket one-dayer in Nagpur today. After rattling up a mammoth 350 for six, spinners Harbhajan Singh and Murali Kartik took the spotlight with three wickets each. The men in blue bundled out the visitors for 198 in 35.4 overs to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the seven-match series. The two teams will now travel to Mohali for the second one-dayer to be held under floodlights on October 28. Indian skipper Rahul Dravid, unbeaten at 85, was adjudged man of the match. Memorable comeback Sachin Tendulkar gave glimpses of his vintage form with a scorching 93 to make a memorable comeback. It was his 70th half century in his 349th ODI and 12th in 55 ties against the Emerald Islanders. Tendulkar, returning to the international arena after a six-month injury lay-off, set the tone with his 96-ball knock. He got good support from Irfan Pathan (83) and captain Rahul Dravid (85) on what appeared to be a good batting track at the VCA stadium. Tendulkar's and Pathan's partnership was broken just after the score moved past the 200 mark. In fact the two batsmen left in close succession -- in the space of only three balls, and then Yuvraj Singh left early. After this, M S Dhoni provided the late sparks to the innings with a quick fire 28-ball 38 to leave the islanders in a complete daze. At the end the Indian skipper remained unconquered after hitting 8 fours and a six as India added 100 runs in the last ten overs. The Lankan bowling and fielding wilted under the massive assault of the Indian top order and barring Muralitharan, who conceded less than 5 an over, all the others got caned. India capped young Kerala medium pacer S Sreesanth who opened the bowling with Pathan. Sreesanth claimed the last two wickets to return with figures of 5.4-0-39-2 in his debut match. Lankans collapse The Sri Lankans lost captain Marvan Atapattu (1) early but kept themselves in the chase with a 64-run second wicket partnership between Sanath Jayasuriya (27) and Kumara Sangakkara (43). But the visitors' run-chase, after they were set an asking rate of 7.02, went haywire once Jayasuriya and Sangakkara departed in the space of two overs. Jayasuriya spooned a drive straight to Dravid at short extra cover in the 11th over off a Harbhajan delivery. In the very next over, Sangakkara was deceived by Sehwag's extra bounce and turn and gave a return catch as Lanka slid to 76 for 3. Harbhajan then struck two blows in four balls to send back the promoted Upul Chandana (3) and Russel Arnold (0) and the tourists were on their knees. Mahela Jayawardene, the vice captain, departed after being castled in trying an injudicious reverse sweep against super sub Murali Kartik and the Lankans were looking down the barrel. Kartik and Harbhajan ensured that the lower order of the visitors did not prosper much as it had happened in their last few encounters in Lanka. Chaminda Vaas (37 not out) and Super Sub Dilhara Lokuhettige (29) tried their level best to keep their side in the fight till the end with a 63-run ninth wicket stand. Teams: India: Rahul Dravid (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Y Venugopala Rao, Jaiprakash Yadav, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Irafan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ajit Aagarkar, S Sreesanth. Super sub: Murali Karthik Sri Lanka: Marwan Atapattu (Captain), Sanath Jayasurya, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardane, Tilakrathne Dilshan, Russel Arnold, Chaminda Vaas, Fervez Mahroof, Upul Chandana, Muthaihah Muralitharan, Dilhara Fernando. Super sub: Dilhara Lokuhettige.
(With PTI inputs)
Topics : Cricket