Sri Lanka skipper Upul Tharanga isn’t too pleased with the performance of his boys at the end of the first ODI between India and Sri Lanka in Dambulla. While the ODI team was expected to put up a better show after the Test team was humiliated in the three-match series, the Tharanga-led unit did no better as they were handed a disappointing loss in the first game. And skipper Tharanga feels that the boys just couldn’t capitalise on the good start.
“We started well but we did not capitalize after that. Someone should have carried on to get a big one after that. If you want to score 300, conversion of starts is important. This is what we have been lacking for the last 2-3 years. Everyone hasn't been getting runs for us. At one stage it looked like we would get to 300 but unfortunately we couldn't do it. We were restricted to 216 and in the end India played brilliantly. We need to learn from our mistakes here, someone needs to get a big one for us in the future. Even in the bowling, we need to step up,” he said.
It was Axar Patel (3/34), Kedar Jadhav (2/26) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/60) who ensured that the Lankan players failed to consolidate after openers Nuwan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka put on 74 for the opening wicket. In fact, the duo looked in complete control as they went on building a platform for the other batsmen. But it all fell apart as the Lankans lost their last nine wickets for just 77 runs. Dickwella (65) and Gunathilaka (35) gave the hosts a solid start, but it was Gunathilaka’s decision to suddenly reverse sweep Chahal that actually ended up opening the floodgates for the Indian bowlers to make hay.
Axar finished with career-best figures as the Sri Lankan batsmen seemed decided to commit hara-kiri. It was only Angelo Mathews who looked ready to grind as he hit an unbeaten 36 without much support from the rest of the batsmen. Kedar was once again the go-to-man for Kohli as the skipper turned to him in the 14th over. Kusal Mendis (36) and Dickwella were looking good but Kedar trapped the opener leg before in the 25th over as the DRS also went against Dickwella.
Axar then followed it up with Mendis’s wicket as he cleaned up the batsmen for 36. That was the start of the end as none of the other Lankan batsmen looked interested to even grind it out and play out the 50 overs. Jasprit Bumrah finally finished the innings in the 44th over when he dismissed Vishwa Fernando for a duck.