Written by Lahiru Fernando
10 Dec, 2017 | 5:36 pm
Sri Lanka Cricket has claimed a long awaited victory -and importantly, a victory over neighboring India.
The first ODI match between Sri Lanka and hosting India got underway at the new turf in Dharamsala, northern India right below the scenic Himalayas.
To lay the foundation towards the victory, toss winning Sri Lankan camp invited the neighbors to bat first and set the score to beat.
Suranga Lakmal struck very early to start a magnificent spell by taking the wicket of Indian skipper and opener Rohit Sharma for 2 runs.
The rest of the Indian line up fell apart one after the other as Lakmal stood tall, taking four wickets in his 10 over spell.
Lakmal’s 10 overs also included four clean overs with no runs given away.
Overall, the past pupil of Debarawewa Central proved to be the most economic and effective bowler of the day, -maintaining an economy of 1.30 to dust his hands off.
Nuwan Pradeep was the other man who broke through the Indian batting line-up, claiming two wickets with four maiden overs in his 10 over spell.
The rest of the bowlers, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya and Sachith Pathirana contributed with one wicket each to wrap up the Indians for a score of mere 112 runs at the end of 38.2 overs.
Thisara Perera proved to be the most expensive bowler out of the lot, giving away 29 runs in his 4.2 over spell with an economy of 6.69 runs.
For India, Shikhar Dhawan did not trouble the scorers, going back to the pavilion for a duck, having faced only 6 balls.
Shreyas Iyer did not make it to double figures, being clean bowled at 9 by Nuwan Pradeep on the 27th ball he faced.
Dinesh Karthik fell victim to Lakmal, -caught leg before wicket, scoring no runs for the 18 deliveries he spent.
Manish Pandey was caught out by Mathews off a delivery of Lakmal. Pandey went back with just two runs to his name.
MS Dhoni proved to be the man to carry the innings through. He bagged 65 runs at the expense of 87 deliveries, saving India from a low score.
However, Thisara Perera managed to break-through Dhoni’s calm and defensive charge with a catch to Danushka Gunathilaka.
Hardik Pandya scored 10 runs for India but fell victim to Pradeep on the 10th delivery.
Kuldeep Yadav scored 19 runs at the tail end, while the wickets of Bhuwaneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal fell for no runs.
After ripping through the Indian batting line-up, -the Sri Lankan camp took the bat, their eyes set on one thing.
Winning the game.
Starting off on the back foot, Danushka Gunathilaka fell early to Bumrah, having scored only one run.
Upul Tharanga however, fired his way to 49 runs in 45 deliveries and seemed to be a man on a mission.
In the end however, he was denied a well-deserved half century by Hardik Pandya on the 46th delivery.
Tharanga walked back to the pavilion having scored 10 boundaries at a 106.52 strike rate.
Lahiru Thirimanne fell for a duck, and then came Angelo Mathews followed by Niroshan Dickwella.
This duo saw the innings through together and sealed a long awaited victory for Sri Lanka and the fans of Sri Lanka Cricket.
Mathews scored 25 runs while Niroshan Dickwella smashed through 26 runs in 24 deliveries at a strike rate of 108.33 runs a ball.
This victory comes following 12 long consecutive ODI losses this year, 26 match losses in total.
Thus far in 2017 -Sri Lanka has only won four ODI matches.
While this victory is a welcoming sigh of relief to all fans of Sri Lanka Cricket, will it continue?
Or will Sri Lanka fall back to the struggling form that has prevailed through the year?
All fans of Sri Lanka Cricket are hoping and praying for the former as they wait for Sri Lanka’s glory days to return.
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