India picked up a mammoth victory over the Sri Lankans in the first ODI at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. The highlights of the Indian innings were a brilliant half-century from Lokesh Rahul and some power hitting from MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey towards the end. Riding on effective contributions from these three batsmen India put up a staggering total of 180 runs on the board, making it an uphill task for the Lions.
The Sri Lankans were no match to the Indians as they were tore apart by the Indian bowling. The visitors fell 93 runs short of the Indian target getting restricted to a mere score of 87. However, former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was at his brutal best with a 39 run unbeaten knock of 22 balls. In the 14th over of the Indian innings, a powerful MS Dhoni blow almost collided with KL Rahul but the Bengaluru batsman dodged it by a whisker.
Dhoni smashed bowler Akila Dananjaya straight down the ground with all his might leaving KL Rahul on the ground as he tried to dodge the ball. “He almost killed me as soon as he came into bat,” Rahul said after the match.
Manish Pandey gave Mahendra Singh Dhoni the perfect support with his knock of 32 runs from 18 deliveries. the duo picked up 66 runs in the last 5 overs with a plethora of fours and sixes. The experienced MS Dhoni also finished the inning in his trademark style, with a six.
Dhoni also set three other records in the match adding to the numerous feathers in his cap. Dhoni (201 dismissals in 272 matches) has become the second wicketkeeper after Kamran Akmal (207 in 211 matches) to complete 200 dismissals or more in T20 cricket. He also became the first wicketkeeper to effect four dismissals in T20Is involving India and Sri Lanka. Dhoni (39 not out + 4 dismissals) became the first Indian wicketkeeper to post 35 or more runs and effect four dismissals in the same T20I, joining South Africa’s Quinton de Kock (twice) and Pakistan’s Kamran Akmal.
MS Dhoni's bullet that got Rahul, almost! https://t.co/0a9AbTdkuL
— Kiran Kumar (@KiranKumar_2401) December 21, 2017