India power to 9-wicket ODI win over Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka were well positioned at 139-1 after Niroshan Dickwella scored 64 but quickly fell away, losing eight wickets for 67 runs to be bowled out for just 216.

India are now leading 1-0 in the ongoing ODI series following their crushing nine-wicket win over Lanka in the opening match in Dambulla. "Odd game but good that we came through", a relieved Kohli said at the post-match press conference. Was good to see two 100-run stands in a 230 run chase and then a collapse.

Staring at a modest total of 237, the Indian opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma stitched a 109-run stand and the hosts were well assured of yet another win in the series. These are serious numbers for a specialist batsman, let alone a wicketkeeper who has 170 of his 255 innings batting at No. 6 or lower.

The Indian team management made a decision to shuffle the batting order in this match as KL Rahul and Kedar Jadhav were promoted up the batting order ahead of Kohli. One thing that we chose to do as a team was take more responsibility and ownership of what we do on the field when playing for the country. We'll be more careful next time.

"But you can't really control what's happening from another person, you can only control what you can do on the park and the mindset that you can be in", he added. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and MS Dhoni now hold the record for India's best eighth-wicket partnership in ODIs courtesy of their unbeaten century partnership.

The fitness police - aka the team's physio and trainer - have banned biscuits from the dressing room as management looks for solutions to Sri Lanka's slide down the global rankings.

Milinda Siriwardana, a spin-bowling allrounder who ends a four-month break from worldwide cricket, took Thisara Perera's place.

However, Dhoni (38) and Bhuvneshwar (53) took India there on and batted sensibly, not giving away any chance to the Lankan bowlers and slowly and steadily ticking along.

"(Yuzvendra) Chahal and Axar are guys who haven't got many opportunities so we want to test them out.

Coming together at 121 for 5 Milinda Siriwardana (58) and Chamara Kapugedera (40) gave the innings some substance with a 91-run partnership. At Dambulla, India didn't prefer to go in with either two leg-spinners or two left-arm spinners, thus forming the Chahal-Patel's orthodox leg break-left arm spin combination.

The third match is scheduled for Sunday at the same venue.

  • Leroy Wright