Twin tons power India

Gambhir and Kohli share 205-run stand, Sri Lanka fall short in reply

Last Updated: 13/03/12 4:53pm

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Gautam Gambhir (left) and Virat Kohli: double-century stand

Gautam Gambhir (left) and Virat Kohli: double-century stand

Sky Bet

Centuries from Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli helped India to a 50-run success over Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup.

Gambhir (100) and Kohli (108) put on 205 as India piled up a total of 304-3 after being asked to bat in Mirpur.

Sri Lanka made a positive start in reply, skipper Mahela Jayawardene (78) and Kumar Sangakkara (65) contributing half-centuries.

They were in contention on 196-3 after 35 overs but then collapsed to 254 all out, India seamer Irfan Pathan finishing with figures of 4-32.

Backfired

Jayawardene's decision to put India in to bat in Dhaka came back to haunt him, as other than one chance when Gambhir was dropped on 37 by Dinesh Chandimal, the opening batsman and Kohli were virtually untouchable.

They both reached three figures in the same over and, even though both fell in the subsequent one, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni ensured momentum was not lost with 46 off 30 balls.

Such an impressive final total had looked unlikely when Sachin Tendulkar (6), still chasing his 100th international hundred, chased a full toss from Suranga Lakmal and could only find the hands of Jayawardene early on.

At that stage, Sri Lanka's decision to omit Lasith Malinga initially looked sound, but Gambhir and Kohli quickly changed that.

After Gambhir's near-miss they moved through the gears, with the opener the first to reach his half-century off 59 balls and Kohli following quickly after from 66.

Their centuries duly followed, with Kohli taking centre stage first as he pushed a length ball from Nuwan Kulasekera into the offside for a 10th ODI hundred, with Gambhir pulling a short ball for a single two balls later to secure his own three-figure score.

The duo perished soon after, with Gambhir launching Farveez Maharoof into the hands of Upul Tharanga and Kohli going two balls later off the same bowler.

But Dhoni's cameo ensured the innings still ended on a high, with Suresh Raina (30 from 17) joining him for a 43-ball partnership of 78.

Solid

In reply, Sri Lanka recovered from an early setback when Tillakaratne Dilshan was dismissed for seven by Pathan, as Jayawardene and Sangakkara compiled a 93-run stand for the second wicket.

When Jayawardene was caught behind off the bowling of Pathan in the 19th over, Sri Lanka were in a good position at 124-2, helped along by the two sixes and 10 fours in their captain's 59-ball innings.

Chandimal (13) was quickly on his way after being bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin, before Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne were dispatched by the same bowler in the 36th over to leave the match evenly poised with Sri Lanka on 198-5.

However, another double-wicket blow - this time when Vinay Kumar dismissed Kulasekara and Chamara Kapugedera in the 39th over - left the run chase in disarray at 216-7.

Tharanga (17) and Maharoof (18) put up slight resistence in the tail, but it was left to Pathan to finish off proceedings with the wicket of Seekkuge Prasanna.

Sri Lanka have the chance for an immediate response when they take on Pakistan on Thursday in the third match of the four-team event, which also features hosts Bangladesh.

Pakistan beat Bangladesh in the tournament opener.

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