Sri Lanka beats India by 8 wickets in ODI
Mon August 18, 2008 09:53 EDT .
KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - thrashed India by eight wickets Monday in the first one-day international with captain Mahela Jayawardene scoring an unbeaten 61. In reply, Sri Lanka - scored 147-2 with 15 overs to spare in the opening match of the five-match series.
India's innings was 17 runs lower than its previous worst batting performance in Sri Lanka - 163 all out in 1998.
Young spinner Ajantha Mendis, who took 3-21, was named man of the match.
Jayawardene was surprised by the easy win.
``But I'll take it, it's important when you start a five-match series (that) you start well,'' Jayawardene said.
Despite its poor score, seam bowler Munaf Patel raised India's hopes with two early wickets. He dismissed opener Sanath Jayasuriya for 10 runs with India on 18. Jayasuriya stepped out to hit Patel only to sky the ball for a catch by Irfan Pathan.
Kumar Sangakkara (19) tried to force the ball through the on-side but instead gave a simple return catch to Patel to leave Sri Lanka - at 45-2.
However, the dismissal brought Jayawardene and Chamara Kapugedera together who guided their team to victory with an unbroken third-wicket partnership of 102.
``It was not easy with the new ball but we managed to get through which is the most important thing,'' Jayawardene said.
Kapugedera was undefeated on 45.
Patel was India's best for India with 2-32 off nine overs.
``We've got another four more games to play, we need to make sure that we concentrate,'' Jayawardene said. ``They have got a lot of talented individual players who can change the match for them.''
The second one-day match takes place Wednesday.
Earlier, Sri Lanka - 's spin bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Mendis prevented India posting a challenging score.
Veteran left-arm seamer Chaminda Vaas bowled opener Gautam Gambhir for a second ball duck.
``We misread the wicket a bit, we thought it may not seam or swing that much,'' India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said. ``It gets really tough in a one-day game when you lose too many wickets upfront.''
Mendis was India's biggest problem.
``By the time you realize what ball it is, it gets really late to play a big shot,'' Dhoni said. ``It's not only about going through the motions right here just playing through Mendis, you have to score the runs, that's also important.''
Mendis was key to Sri Lanka - 's win in the Asia Cup final against India and its 2-1 win in the test series that preceded the one-dayers.
India took the field without hard-hitting opener Virender Sehwag, who injured his ankle Sunday. His was replaced by 19-year-old Virat Kohli in his international debut.
India's manager Sanjay Desai said after the match that Sehwag will return home and miss the rest of the series.
Sehwag twisted his ankle Sunday when he stepped on a ball while trying to stop it during fielding practice.
Kohli reached 12 runs before being trapped lbw by pace bowler Nuwan Kulasekara, who also had Suresh Raina caught in the covers by Chamara Silva for 17.
Yuvraj Singh and Rohit Sharma together added 37 runs for the fourth wicket and looked to set to salvage the Indian innings, but Sri Lanka - seized back control with the introduction of Mendis with the score at 65.
After surviving an appeal for lbw off Mendis' first ball, Yuvraj hoisted the next for a massive six over long-on, but was bowled in the next delivery for 23 runs.
Left-arm fast bowler Thilina Thushara had Sharma caught for 19 runs by Jayawardene at slip, while Mahendra Dhoni made just six runs off 27 balls before edging Mendis to Jayawardene.
Muralitharan trapped Pathan, India's last recognized batsman, to leave the visitors struggling on 87-6.
Despite some resistance, Muralitharan and Mendis mopped up the tailenders, dismissing Harbhajan Singh (12), Zaheer Khan (12), Patel (15) and Pragyan Ojha (16 not out) to end the Indian innings with four overs to spare.
Mendis finished with 3-21 off nine overs while Muralitharan had 3-37 in 10 overs.
India is without veteran batsman Sachin Tendulkar for the series because of an elbow injury he sustained during the test series.Discuss this story
Published: Mon Aug 18 11:33:24 EDT 2008