t from their performance in the first part of the opening One Day International at the Rangiri International Stadium at Dambulla. Hosts Sri Lanka began in a terrific fashion with openers Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathalika taking the Indian bowlers to the cleaners.
They batted superbly and executed some terrific shots to perfection as Virat Kohli was left searching for options. Dickwella, in particular, was finding the gaps in regular intervals while Gunathilaka also looked in ominous touch. He scored 35 of 44 deliveries before perishing but Dickwella continued the charge and along with Kusal Mendis the duo started consolidating on their position of strength.
Kedar Jadhav then dismissed Dickwella to open the flood gates as Sri Lanka lost two more wickets in quick succession. Experienced campaigner Chamara Kapudagera came out in the middle and looked to resurrect the innings but after facing only a couple of deliveries the right-hander went for an audacious run and was found wanting when Indian captain Virat Kohli executed a terrific under arm throw to perfection which castled the stumps and Kapugedara was left short of his crease.
It was a sensational piece of fielding as Kohli had to throw the ball in full motion. It is not easy to hit the stumps from such an awkward angle but it can’t be denied that Kohli is one of the agile cricketers around and the brilliant piece of fielding was a sheer testimony of his hard work which he has put in for the last many years.
The Indians kept taking wickets at regular intervals which pegged the hosts back as they were looking down the barrel. When the article was written Sri Lanka was placed at 196/8 at the end of 40 overs with Angelo Matthews and Lasith Malinga in the middle.