India v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Cuttack November 2, 2014

Dhawan and Rahane fashion Sri Lanka rout


India 363 for 5 (Dhawan 113, Rahane 111) beat Sri Lanka 194 (Jayawardene 43, Ishant 4-34) by 169 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 04:44
Agarkar: Sri Lanka rusty

Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan delivered a staggering mid-innings explosion that yielded 96 runs in eight overs, and for the rest of the match, Sri Lanka were left chasing a runaway engine. India continued to hurtle ahead, hitting 363 for 5 after Rahane and Dhawan had hit hundreds, before Sri Lanka's chase began to run out of steam inside the first 20 overs. Ishant Sharma's 4 for 34 hastened the end, as he made excellent use of the bounce on the Cuttack pitch as well as the seam on offer.

The pre-series talk of Sri Lanka having arrived underprepared, and wielding a green attack, proved startlingly accurate, as they were defeated by 169 runs. The Dhawan-Rahane partnership had produced 37 more runs than the 194 Sri Lanka managed in their whole innings.

Suraj Randiv's first ODI in three years had been going okay until his third over - the 21st of the innings. Kumar Sangakkara had been among the first to suggest Sri Lanka would head into this series underdone, and although he had fulfilled his own prophecy by dropping one catch each off Dhawan and Rahane, Sri Lanka had managed to keep India in check, conceding only 90 from the first 20 overs. But then the bloodbath began.

Rahane reached his fifty with a single off the second ball of that Randiv over, before Dhawan took strike and embarked on the first bona-fide charge of the innings. He paddle-swept Randiv fine for four first, then reverse-paddled him for an almost symmetrical boundary, before running at the bowler to crash him over long on, to bring up his own half-century. That was the moment the engine de-coupled and set off at the breakneck speed, on its own. The scoring barely eased from there, and even then, not until these two had been separated.

Dhawan was powerful in the arc between midwicket and cover, bullying even the decent balls to the fence, while Rahane, operating with a little more finesse, moving around the crease to manipulate the angles, playing that delicious inside-out shot particularly well. They took the batting Powerplay in the 24th over, and could hardly have used it more effectively. Gamage was cracked for 15 in one over, with the field pulled in, and Mathews walloped for 18.

The hitting from both batsmen was so clean and so precise that at 186 for 0 after 28 overs, a score in excess of 400 seemed a distinct possibility. Seeing that both men were hitting well down the ground, the Sri Lanka bowlers attempted to pull back their lengths, but the openers would simply make room and flat-bat the short balls back over the bowler - thoroughly unfussed, casually arrogant.

The batsmen completed their tons in quick succession; Rahane hitting his off 99 balls, before Dhawan launched Seekkuge Prasanna over midwicket to get to his milestone off 96. Having matched each other step-for-step in their partnership, they were both dismissed off innocuous balls too. Dhawan swept a floated Ashan Priyanjan ball on to his foot, and then deflected the ball on to leg stump on 113. Three overs later, Rahane lobbed a Randiv full toss straight to mid off, on 111.

Mathews tapped each of his eight bowling resources during the carnage, but no bowler seemed capable of clotting up the run hemorrhage, much less present a menace to India. The bowling was more uninspired than indisciplined. The quicks were short of variation, the spinners unable to deceive, and the medium-paced allrounder turned out to be fodder on one of the flattest batting tracks Sri Lanka have played on this year.

Suresh Raina ensured the lull after those dismissals was brief, mauling Thisara Perera for 20 in the 41st over, with assistance from Virat Kohli. Like the openers, Raina was most productive in front of square, hitting his 5000th ODI run in his 200th match, on his way to 52 off 34. Even at his exit, at 299 for 3 in the 44th over, a score of close to 400 appeared possible. Such was the ease with which boundaries were being clobbered. But the bowlers induced false shots from Kohli and Ambati Rayudu, and only Akshar Patel's 14 off 4 propelled the score over 350 in the final over.

Sri Lanka's top order, save for Mahela Jayawardene, was visibly rusty. Tillakaratne Dilshan thrashed his way to 18 from 22, but never appeared at ease, before edging Umesh Yadav behind in the ninth over. Upul Tharanga is one of the few Sri Lanka batsmen who had had recent match practice going into this game, but his 28 from 53 sucked the air out of Sri Lanka's start, and sent the already-daunting required rate on its ascent.

Ishant Sharma claimed Sangakkara for the first of his four wickets when he sent a short one across the batsman to take his outside edge. And though Jayawardene hit a dainty but dangerous 43 from 36, he had already begun running out of top-order partners with whom a serious challenge to India's total could be launched. The middle and lower order was crushed under the heft of the task that had been left to them.

The rust in Sri Lanka's cricket was evident in the loss, but with four more matches coming up in the next two weeks and the World Cup on the horizone, they will need to shake themselves back to their best quickly.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Aravinda on November 7, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    Sri Lanka lost first 2 matches mainly because of their bowling line up,very inexperienced.Selectors just wanted to give some chances to these new players to make a mark of their own.And their senior trio didn't contributed at all.These kind of things could happen for the fact that you can't win every match you play.But Indians are saying they have the best team in the world,as they're dreaming that they could win the world cup '15.Even seniors could fail 1 time or 2 time out of 100 matches against debutants or amateurs like Axar Patel.What have they achieved in Aus and NZ?Indians are going to have some bad days in Aus and NZ in 3 months time.

  • Shashika on November 5, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    @KandhaVsKendha: Dont twist my words.This is what I said. "Avg or SR alone cant do anything these days in ODIs. A batsman must have a 80+ SR these days if the team wants to win with a good AVG". Read it again. Tharanga played all his innings with sanath and dilshan. He can never survive when the runs doesnt come from the other end. He may be the fastest SL player to score 5000 runs. But at what cost?? A SR of 74. If some one has a SR less than 75, his AVG must be really good like dravid, kallis, attapattu or chandrapaul. All the Tharanga lovers, just give me one name, who is considered as a very good batsman and having a SR less than 75 and Having an AVG less than 35. Just give me one name.

  • Andrew on November 5, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    @Analyzer @SriLankaCricketFans (all multiple names): read the postings in this forum. it seems you are accusing others with your guilt of doing it. A few points to ponder & asses your knowledge & mind :))

    - u r saying playing a few occasional games in A team & facing 2nd string bowlers during a period extended beyond 12m is enough for a national player to keep his rhythm & form. no settling time needed for such players!

    - An Openers ability is measured by S/R & NOT by his overall batting average (with a substantial S/R)

    - splitting a player's overall career stats (maintained over 175 odis), to a short segment of a very few matches & trying to justify UT's 12m long exclusion!

    Remember, this was happened just 4 Odis after making the second fastest 5000 runs in SL cricket history! That means UT has scored 5000 odi runs in least number of innings than anyone else @ 28yrs in SL Cricket History ! So, obviously the axing was nothing to do with his consistency!

    - select Kusal on S/R

  • Manoj on November 5, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    I'm from India and i must say this was not the kind of sport iv'e expected from SriLanka.Clearly Upul Tharanga was wasting too many balls(not even trying to make contact).Sure you can play selfish when the target is conquerable but when you need almost 7.3 RPO that is definitely not the way one should bat.Dilashan was edgy too but he did not eat up many balls and he was trying for big hits which are the most important.I thought that a 5 match series with SriLanka just 100 days before the world cup would be a great preparation for Team India but the Lankans have disappointed me in the first ODI.Hope they get back to form and give us a good fight.It's good for both the teams.

  • piyath on November 5, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    Lucky_Serasinghe and Anil_Godahewa (Though I have used two names you must be a one person definitely who is a die hard fan of Tharanga or may be having some kind of deal) What's the point of analyzing all the good things Tharanga has done even if you could not see any slightest mistakes he is being doing ? But you can do thorough COMPETITOR ANALYSIS for the players like KUSAL, DIMUTH and KAUSAL isn't it ? Tharanga average and S.R boosted heavily with that sole knock of 174* otherwise even a number 8 player would have better Avg and S.R than him between in that period. We don't need players to use their practice and settle in to the team too many innings using in the national team and make whole country awful among the international. So best batsman of Sri Lanka according to you have use more than 11 innings still having average below 20 and S.R 50% in this period.

  • Nalin on November 5, 2014, 3:33 GMT

    @ Lucky_Serasinghe Why you take only 8 innings. To be fair just consider 2013 January to July (until he was dropped) 11innings 1 n.o 290 runs 29.0 avg (boosted by 1 inning of 174n.o and SR of 57.18. Why should he needs to find rythem as he played lot of A team matches (he was the skipper of A team) & also played 4 test matches this year

  • Ganesh on November 5, 2014, 3:01 GMT

    @TheAnalyzer, you are the 1st "knowledgable" Lankan cricket fan I found, who has good knowledge of modern cricket. Do not prove me wrong later anyday!!!

  • Shashika on November 5, 2014, 2:18 GMT

    Batting SR is second to none these days. Tharanga's 74 is the lowest amoung the openers in the world at the present. These days top teams cross 300 mark easily and SL is unable to do that. Avg or SR alone cant do anything these days in ODIs. A batsman must have a 80+ SR these days if the team wants to win with a good AVG.Marvan played with sanath so the run rate wasnt a problem and he retired before 2010. After that rules have changed a lot and only 4 fielders out the the 30 yards circle, 2 new balls etc. So the winning score mark has increased from 275 to 300+. We can never win against SA AUS and IND with batters who have less than 75 of SRs because always the target will be 300+. We cant blame bowlers, all the bowlers around the world are hammered due to new rules, so our batsmen must be capable of chasing 300 runs these days. And the most important thing is, tharanga always plays selfishly, we could see it in the last game.

  • VIJAY on November 4, 2014, 20:00 GMT

    @King_Ravanaa....I think there is not much difference in the pitches of India and SL...why SL has not won any test match or any bilateral series so far against India in India (won only 11 matches out of 44 in India)...India also leading in SL with 3 ODI series win, last time when India toured SL, they won by 4-1...when compared to SL legends, Indian side is very inexperienced (only two players played more than 100 matches-Raina 200 and Kohli 142), the combined total matches played by all Indian players is still less than Sanga and MJ together...but unable to cross 200 runs on flat wicket...when comes to BIG tourneys, India exceptionally performs above its strength...2013 CT and 2007 T20 WC wins are prime examples...for this reason Chappel rated India among top three contenders for WC 2015

  • vishwa on November 4, 2014, 19:14 GMT

    Sanga should be removed from keeping responsibilities and Dickwella should replace him my 11 for next match Kusal Dilshan Sanga Mahela Mathews Tisara Dickwella (Priyanjana/Sekuge) Randiv Prasad Gamage

  • No featured comments at the moment.