Lankan pacers demolish Indian line-up

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.

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.

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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