Recent Match Report – India vs Sri Lanka 1st ODI 2022/23

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Turn India 373/7 (Kohli 113, Rohit 83, Gill 70, Rajita 3-88) Vs. Sri Lanka

A brilliant 143-run opening stand between Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma put India into overdrive early on. Then Virat Kohli hit his 45th ODI century, sending India’s total to a higher altitude. Guwahati is known to be a high-scoring ground, and dew is expected in the second innings, which should favor Sri Lanka. But still, 373 for 7 is a totally impressive total.

Apart from the top three, India had significant contributions from KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, who scored over 100 runs in the middle overs.

The figures for Sri Lanka’s bowlers were appalling – Kasun Rajitha got three wickets but was going for 88 runs, no one else was taking more than one wicket, and everyone was traveling for more than six overs.

Of all India’s outstanding innings, Gill’s 70 off 60 balls was the purest, relying on his excellent timing, especially through the off side. And it was the knock that first indicated that a monster clan was in the making. He creamed the not-special-wide, not-too-short delivery square through the offside in the opening overs – Rajita and Dilshan Madushanka both falling prey to his sublime touch.

By the end of the fifth over, Gill had made 25 for 17 and India were inching closer. Then Rohit took the lead. In a particularly frustrating sequence for Sri Lanka, Rohit hit Rajitha for two sixes and a four – all using his famous pull shot, one of those sixes he hit after charging the bowler. He had a quick dismissive innings.

While Gill’s most memorable strokes came through the offside, Rohit plundered the legside. He scored a 40-ball 50, and the spread of the field and the advent of severe spin only briefly reduced the pair’s scoring rate. He took 19 runs in the 19th over, bowled by Dunith Velez, however, soon after, he was trapped leg before by Gill Dasun Shanaka. The partnership was not without a bit of luck – both batsmen could have been out in their 40s had the standing umpire given them out lbw. Sri Lanka reviewed both occasions – one from the bowling of Wanindu Hasaranga, the other from Velez – and each time denied the umpire’s call.

Kohli had some luck too, falling once on 52, and the second time on 81, on both occasions by Rajita Bowler. Otherwise, he was dominant in the middle overs. He charged Shanaka to pound home through mid-on to get his first boundary, was ruthless on the spinners’ length errors, and was strong on the ground against the fast bowlers. He scored 24 runs from his first 14 balls, and while sharing a small (by this innings’ standards) partnership with Rohit, Iyer never let the rate rise much.

Kohli completed his half-century by landing on the track with a six over mid-on off Dhananjay de Silva. By this stage, after nearly 35 overs had been bowled, he and KL Rahul were deep in a partnership that brought up 90 off 70 balls. Kohli hit particularly heavy runs in the arc between mid-on and mid-wicket but certainly had shots everywhere.

He completed his century in the 47th over on the 79th ball. It was his ninth century against Sri Lanka – his joint most against any opposition (the West Indies being his other main victim). It was his second consecutive innings after scoring a century against Bangladesh in December.

Thanks partly to Kohli who didn’t quite explode at the death as he wanted, India managed only 70 runs in their last nine overs, with Chamika Karunaratne and Rajitha delivering some decent finishing overs considering the conditions. 303 for 3 after 41 overs, a total of 400 was not unimaginable. But Sri Lanka has saved itself from that infamy.

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