India, Sri Lanka
India's Ishan Kishan (R) celebrates after scoring his half-century (50 runs) as captain Shikhar Dhawan looks on during the first One Day International (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and India at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on July 18, 2021. (Photo by Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Exquisite strokeplay from Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav and a calm unbeaten 95-ball 86 has helped Team India chase down 263 in a canter to take a 1-0 lead against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Chasing 263, India got off to a flier thanks to the swashbuckling Prithvi Shaw, who proceeded to stamp his authority on the game courtesy of exquisite stroke play.

Ferocious cuts, audacious drives, nonchalant flicks, Shaw displayed his full repertoire of strokes as he raced his way to a 24-ball 43.

India, Sri Lanka
Prithvi Shaw. (Credits: Twitter)

Thanks to his onslaught, India racked up 50 runs in just 5 overs, but just as it looked that the opener was on his way to his maiden ODI fifty, the introduction of spin in the form of Dhananjaya de Silva led to his undoing.

Shaw was early in his shot as he tried to loft De Silva over long-on but ended up mistiming it straight to Avishka Fernando.

The wicket of Shaw did not have any impact on the run-rate though as debutant Ishan Kishan came out all guns blazing courtesy of an authoritative six and a four off the first two deliveries he faced.

Watch: Ishan Kishan Starts His ODI Career With A Six
Watch: Ishan Kishan Starts His ODI Career With A Six

Kishan, just like Prithvi Shaw, launched a brutal attack on the Sri Lankan bowlers- especially their spinners- as he danced down the track regularly to smash them over their head besides rocking back and smoking them over midwicket or leaning forward to drive them through the covers.

And, in the process, not only did he become the first Indian to smash a six off his first ball on ODI debut, but he also went on to become the first Indian to score a 50 on T20I and ODI debut.

Kishan smashed a whirlwind 42-ball 59 before he was eventually dismissed by Lakshan Sandakan.

Twitter Erupts As Ruthless India Guns Down Sri Lanka's 262 To Stroll To A 7-Wicket Win
Shikhar Dhawan, India vs Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Colombo, July 18, 2021 (Photo-AFP via Getty Images)

Shikhar Dhawan, meanwhile, combined to anchor the innings brilliantly even as the young guns went hell for leather.

In the process, he also completed 6000 runs in the format to become the fifth fastest batter in the world to do so (140 innings). Dhawan also proceeded to rack up 10000 international runs across formats.

Dhawan racked up his 33rd 50 in the format in the 25th over with a single on the on-side as India racked their way to 2/177 at the halfway mark.

Manish Pandey got himself in but once again failed to convert it into a big knock as he holed out for a 46-ball 30 at short mid-wicket with Dhanajaya de Silva breaking a 72-run-stand between the former and Dhawan.

However, exquisite strokeplay from debutant Suryakumar Yadav backed up by Dhawan’s calmness ensured that India cantered home in a mere 36.4 overs.

 

 

Sri Lanka posted 9/262 after 50 overs thanks to late assault by Karunaratne; Kuldeep and Krunal proved to be the pick of Team India bowlers

Batting first, Sri Lanka got off to a steady start as the Indian seamer once again struggled to claim wickets in the powerplay.

The opening duo of Avishka Fernando (32) and M. Bhanuka (27) stitched 49 runs in 9 overs before the introduction of spin brought an end to their alliance.

Yuzvendra Chahal (2/52 in 10 overs) struck gold with the very first ball he bowled as Avishka Fernando played a loose drive to give an easy catch to Manish Pandey at cover.

The reunification of Kul-Cha proved to be brilliant for Team India as the duo claimed four wickets between them at the expense of 100 runs in 19 overs.

Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav mobbed by his teammates [Image-AFP/Getty]
Kuldeep Yadav (2/48 in 9 overs) got into the act in his 3rd over as he dismissed the well-set duo of Bhanuka Rajapaksa and M. Bhanuka within a space of 3 deliveries.

Krunal Pandya, meanwhile, was a revelation today as he not only bowled with great discipline but he also chipped in with his quota of 10 overs at a rate of knots.

He gave away just 26 runs in 10 overs and claimed the prized scalp of Dhananjaya de Silva.

Sri Lankan top-6 were guilty of throwing away their starts and, as a result, the home side continued to lose wickets at regular intervals.

Twitter Erupts As Ruthless India Guns Down Sri Lanka's 262 To Stroll To A 7-Wicket Win
Sri Lanka’s Chamika Karunaratne plays a shot during the first One Day International (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and India at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on July 18, 2021. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

And, at 8/222 in the 47th over, it looked like Sri Lanka would end up with a sub-par total.

But, some lusty blows by Chamika Karunaratne (43* off 35) and Chameera (13 off 7) at the expense of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had a rare bad day, and Hardik Pandya, ensured that the home side got a strong finish as they ended up with 9/262 in 50 overs.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to India’s 8-wicket win:

https://twitter.com/galwithnochill/status/1416691347168186377?s=19

Also Read: Watch: Liam Livingstone’s 121.96M Six Off Haris Rauf Lands Out Of The Headingley

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.