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World champs India start Sri Lanka series with a win

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By Staff Writers | July 21, 2012

India off to a winning start.
MS Dhoni’s men are off to a winning start. © AFP

Hambantota – Sri Lanka lost the opening game of the five-match ODI series to India today by 21 runs giving the visitors a 1-0 lead in the series.

Virat Kohli top scored for India with 106 of 113 balls and propelled India to 314-6. India then restricted the hosts to 293-9.

For Sri Lanka, former captain Kumar Sangakkara was the top scorer after the elegant left-hander scored his 14th ODI century – only his second century in Sri Lanka – with 133 runs to his name. It was Sangakkara’s third hundred-plus score from his last four knocks.

Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin each picked up two wickets for India.

Although Sri Lanka have been in the thick of things of late, with a full series against Pakistan just completed, Mahela Jayawardene’s men looked under pressure from the get-go. India on the other hand showed no signs of looking like they were rusty, as they had not played in four months prior to this.

Sri Lanka conceded 300-plus but fell just 21 runs short of their target, which is somewhat of a consolation for the hosts; they were 191/6 at one stage.

MS Dhoni’s men, who are currently placed fourth in the ODI team rankings, can regain the number-one position if they beat Sri Lanka 5-0 in the series.

The next match of the series, also a day-night encounter, will be played at the same venue in Hambantota on July 24

Scores: India 314/6 (Kohli 106, Sehwag 96 – Perera 3/70, Mathews 1/58) defeated Sri Lanka 293/9 (Sangakkara 133 – Irfan 2/37, Ashwin 2/46).

© Island Cricket

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