Kohli century dooms Sri Lanka as India cruise to ODI victory

By Sports Desk January 10, 2023

Virat Kohli's 45th ODI century helped India to a comfortable 67-run victory over Sri Lanka at ACA Stadium on Tuesday.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, who scored a double century in India's previous ODI last year, were surprisingly dropped for the first of three one-day matches.

But India had few issues without them, as Kohli, Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma led them to an unassailable 373-7.

Gill and Rohit enjoyed a little luck, surviving lbw reviews, but went on to stage a fine opening stand of 143 to put the tourists firmly on the back foot right.

Dasun Shanaka (1-22) eventually accounted for Gill in the 20th over, and an inside edge saw Rohit snaffled by Dilshan Madushanka (1-43) not long after.

But then Kohli arrived to deliver his 73rd international century in all formats.

He, too, benefited from some fortune, dropped on 52 and 81, but Kohli was otherwise in irresistible form with 13 boundaries to eventually finish on 113 off just 87 balls, finally taken by Kasun Rajitha (3-88) when a big slog fell short.

Sri Lanka were always facing an uphill struggle as they moved into bat.

Pathum Nissanka's 72 off 80 was a decent opening effort, but they needed more.

Dhananjaya de Silva (47 off 40) injected some purpose before edging a Mohammed Shami delivery behind to Rahul, and Nissanka followed in the 31st over after slicing Umran Malik (3-57) to Axar Patel at midwicket.

Skipper Shanaka offered late resistance with a tremendous unbeaten 108, finishing with two boundaries, but it was far too late to change the outcome.

India have too much for Sri Lanka

One of the key differences here was India's brilliant efficiency with the bat. All but one of their nine batsmen recorded a strike rate of over 100, and five of those scored over 25 runs.

By contrast, only three Sri Lanka batters had such a strike rate, with Shanaka and De Silva the two to surpass 25.

A bad day for Sri Lanka's bowlers

Rajitha was the only Sri Lanka bowler to claim more than one wicket, and yet even his overs proved fairly expensive as he gave up 88 runs.

Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva (0-67) and Dunith Wellalage (0-65) also had particular difficulty at a ground that is, to be fair, known for being generous for scoring.

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