Virat Kohli century sets up win for India in first ODI against Sri Lanka

Dasun Shanaka hits unbeaten ton for visitors as hosts triumph by 67 runs in Guwahati

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India put in a near complete performance with the bat to get their World Cup preparations under way as they beat Sri Lanka by 67 runs in the first ODI in Guwahati on Tuesday.

Virat Kohli stole the show as he hit his 73rd international ton to lay the foundation of India's mammoth total of 373-7. Fifties from captain Rohit Sharma and fellow opener Shubman Gill helped the hosts get off to a flyer and even though the pitch disintegrated quickly, there was enough momentum in Kohli's innings to take India past 350.

In reply, Sri Lanka were rocked by Mohammad Siraj's blistering new-ball spell that included the scalps of Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis - both succumbing to late movement. From there, the result became a formality but Sri Lanka still fought until the end as captain Dasun Shanaka hit an unbeaten hundred.

Fast bowler Umran Malik accounted for the middle order, picking up 3-57, to stake his claim for a regular spot in the 50-over side that will fight for the world title at home later this year.

However, India's bowlers and fielders lost their discipline towards the end after Sri Lanka had been reduced to 206-8. Captain Shanaka was given three lives by the fielders as he finished on 108 from 88 balls and added exactly a hundred for the ninth wicket. Sri Lanka finished on a respectable 306-8.

The match had already been decided by India's batting - led by Kohli.

Kohli made 113 from 87 balls, having survived two dropped catches on 52 and 81.

Skipper Sharma (83) and fellow opener Gill (70) put on 143 runs to lay the foundations of the huge score. Kohli stood firm after the duo's departure and, despite losing partners at the other end, took to the opposition attack with 12 fours and one six.

The former captain reached his 45th ODI hundred. He finally fell to seamer Kasun Rajitha, who was also bowling when wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis and skipper Dasun Shanaka dropped the star batsman.

Gill hit three successive boundaries off debutant left-arm quick Dilshan Madushanka in the fourth over and Rohit smashed two sixes and a four off Rajitha to begin the batting charge.

Rohit, who returned to captain the side after missing India's 2-1 Twenty20 series win, reached his fifty with a four and Gill raised his half-century a short time later.

The rest of the innings belonged to Kohli, who has hit two successive ODI hundreds.

Updated: January 10, 2023, 4:15 PM