India won a hammer and tong opening ODI by 67 runs on a Player of the Match 87-ball 113 by Virat Kohli with Sri Lanka making a match of it on Skipper Dasun Shanaka’s brilliant unbeaten 108 off 88 going down by a final play out of 306 for 8 to the hosts 373 for for 7 off the respective 50 overs at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwalati.
The day-night first of three illuminated by a bludgeoning comeback to top form driven by 12 boundaries and a six in an apparent ideal response to his omission from T20 duty with skipper Rohit Sharma back from injury 83 off 67 (9×4, 3×6) and Shubman Gill 70 off 60 (11×4) in a highly ominous Indian offensive after being put into bat, was heightened by a Sri Lankan fight back from the hopelessness of 6 wickets gone for 178 after 32 overs by the Lankan captain Shanaka’s virtual back to the wall lone effort to matching shot for shot in a colouring of three over the top and 12 to the ropes. Shanaka brought up his century off the penultimate ball of the final over with a boundary on a quirk of luck surviving a run out for backing out of his crease the third ball off Sammi, but a sporty gesture by the Indian skipper Rohit Sharma to negate it. His ton came after Rajitha had crossed for 5 off an overthrow. He went on to dispatch the final delivery for six in an exemplary virtual lone rear guard action in a great form run in the wake of his fastest T20 fifty by a Sri Lankan in helping his side to victory in the second game of the series won by India 2-1.
Upfront opening batsman Pathum Nissanka played a characteristic sheet anchor 72 off 86 as Sri Lanka recovered from 64 for 3 on a 72-run fourth-wicket partnership together with Dhananjaya de Silva 47 off 40 after Charith Asalanka had fallen for 23.
It was Kohli’s 45th ODI ton, but the Lankans would rue two caught and bowled dropped chances on 52 and 81 by Kasun Rajitha who took 3 for 88 on a day all their bowlers took a heavy toll.
CHIEF SCORES: India 373/7 (50 Overs) (Virat Kohli 113, Rohit Sharma 83, Shubman Gill 70, Kasun Rajitha 3/88, Dasun Shanaka 1/22, Dhananjaya de Silva 1/33 Dilshan Madushanka 1/43, Chamika Karunaratne 1/59) Sri Lanka 306/8 (Dasun Shanaka n.o. 108, Pathum Nissanka 72, Dhananjaya de Silva 47, Charith Asalanka 23, Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva 16, Kasun Rajitha n.o. 9, Umran Malik 3/57, Mohammed Siraj 2/30, Hardik Pandya 1/35, Yuzvendra Chahal 1/58)