Kohli century leads India to victory

Courtesy: International Cricket Council

Virat Kohli cracked his third consecutive century against Sri Lanka to lead India to a comfortable 21-run win in the first one-day international on Saturday.

Kohli made 106 off 113 balls and shared a 173-run second-wicket stand with Virender Sehwag (96 off 97 balls) asIndia capitalised on a good batting surface to pile up 314 for six wickets.

Sri Lanka failed to gain momentum in their run chase and lost wickets regularly to reply with 293 for nine despite a courageous 14th one-day century from Kumar Sangakkara who made 133 off 151 balls.

India lost Gautam Gambhir early in the innings for three, but Sehwag and Kohli rode their luck to carry India to a commanding total.

Sehwag was dropped on naught by Tillakaratne Dilshan and he punished the Sri Lankans for that let off as he belted the ball all over the ground, hitting 10 fours in his innings.

It was one of many catches Sri Lanka put down and their ground fielding was sloppy.

Kohli, who also smashed hundreds against Sri Lanka in Hobartand Dhaka earlier this year, pounded the bowlers as his partnership with Sehwag gained momentum.

Following the dismissal of Sehwag, who was run out at the non-striker’s end after being sent back by Kohli, Suresh Raina(50 off 45 balls) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (35 off 29 balls) stepped up the tempo to take India past the 300-run mark.

Sri Lanka lost Dilshan for six in the second over and struggled to maintain the required run rate with Upul Tharanga using up 47 balls for his 28.

With the required rate rising to almost nine an over, Sangakkara played a lone hand at one end until Thisara Perera (44 off 28 balls) joined him to add 78 runs for the seventh wicket.

But Sri Lanka had fallen too far back to catch upon the lost run rate.

The second one-day international will be at the same venue on Tuesday.