Lankan pacers demolish Indian line-up

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Pune, Feb 9 (IANS) Sri Lanka produced a strong bowling performance to bundle out India for a meagre 101 runs in their first Twenty20 International at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Tuesday.

Rookie pacers Dasun Shanaka and Kasun Rajitha sliced through the Indian batting line-up, claiming three wickets each.

Rajitha enjoyed a memorable debut, bagging two wickets in his very first over in international cricket, before returning figures of 3/29. Shanaka had figures of 3/16.

Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera (2/14) also bowled well, picking up a couple of wickets, including that of star batsman Yuvraj Singh.

Ravichandran Ashwin scored an unbeaten 31 to be the highest scorer for India.

Asked to bat first on a green wicket, the Indian batsmen struggled to cope with the appreciable swing and off-the-pitch movement generated by the Lankan pacers.

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Rajitha handed Sri Lanka the advantage right at the start by dismissing Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Raane in the opening over.

Rohit virtually gifted away his wicket, placing a lofted drive off Rajitha neatly into the hands of Dushmantha Chameera at long-off.

Rahane also fell to a careless shot, offering and easy upper edge to Dinesh Chandimal at short extra cover while attempting to play across the line.

The right-arm pacer should have bagged another wicket in his second over when Suresh Raina was surprised by the extra bounce of a short pitched delivery. The upper edge carried to third man where Danushka Gunathilaka dropped a sitter.

Shikhar Dhawan enjoyed no such luck a short while later when he attempted to smash a slightly outgoing delivery to the leg-side. The ball took the flew off the top edge to third man where Gunathilaka made amends for his previous error.

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When Shanaka sent back Raina and India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni with a couple of beautiful deliveries in the ninth over, India were in deep trouble at 51/5.

Ashwin tried to produce a late fight-back lower down the order, but rapidly ran out of partners as wickets continued to fall at the other end.

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