India’s stand-in white-ball captain Shikhar Dhawan brought up 6,000 ODI runs on Sunday (July 18) and in the process guided his side to a comprehensive seven-wicket triumph with 80 balls left. Dhawan scored an unbeaten 86 off 95 balls and put on 48 in six over with debutant Suryakumar Yadav (31 off 20 balls) to cruise past 263-run target in just 36.4 overs to go 1-0 up in the three-match ODI series.

Dhawan is now the 10th Indian batsman to score more than 6,000 runs in the 50-over format. He achieved the feat in the ongoing first ODI of the three-match series against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni, Mohammed Azharuddin, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag are the other nine batsmen who have scored more than 6,000 runs in the ODI format.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan registered the second-fastest fifty for a batsman on his ODI debut. Coming into bat at No. 3 position while chasing 263, Kishan brought up his fifty off just 33 balls. The fastest fifty on ODI debut was registered by Krunal Pandya against England in March 2021.

Pandya had scored 50 off just 26 balls. Kishan had also registered a fifty in his debut T20 match against England.

Earlier, India kept on taking wickets at regular intervals, but Chamika Karunaratne’s unbeaten 43-run knock helped Sri Lanka post 262/9. For India, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Deepak Chahar returned with two wickets each.

Opting to bat first, Sri Lanka got off to a steady start as openers Avishka Fernando and Minod Bhanuka put on 49 runs inside the first nine overs. However, the introduction of Yuzvendra Chahal paid off straight away in the 10th over as the leg-spinner dismissed Fernando (32).

Bhanuka Rajapaksa then joined Minod in the middle and the duo put on 36 runs for the second wicket, but this stand was cut short in the 17th over as Kuldeep Yadav sent Rajapaksa (24) back to the pavilion. In the same over, Kuldeep had Minod (27) caught at the first slip and as a result, Sri Lanka was reduced to 89/3.

Dhananjaya de Silva (14) was disappointed with the bat as he went in for an inside-out shot over the covers, but he only managed to hand a catch to Bhuvneshwar Kumar off the bowling of Krunal Pandya, and Sri Lanka was left in a spot of bother at 117/4. Skipper Shanaka and Charith Asalanka then got together at the crease and both batters moved the scoreboard slowly and steadily.

However, the 49-run stand between these two batters was ended by Deepak Chahar in the 38th over as he dismissed Asalanka (38), reducing Sri Lanka to 166/5.

Shanaka played a knock of 39 runs, but India bowlers managed to keep the run-scoring in check and as a result, the hosts were restricted under the 265-run mark. In the final overs, Dushmantha Chameera (13) and Chamika Karunaratne (43*) hit some valuable big shots to give Sri Lanka a competitive score in the match.

(with ANI inputs)

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