Kohli, Gambhir centuries set up easy India win

DHAKA Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:08pm IST

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DHAKA (Reuters) - Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir made centuries to set up a 50-run win for India over Sri Lanka in their first match at the Asia Cup on Tuesday.

Kohli hit 108 and Gambhir exactly 100 to lift India to a total of 304 for three before four wickets from paceman Irfan Pathan helped them dismiss Sri Lanka for 254 with nearly five overs to spare.

Sent into bat first, India lost Sachin Tendulkar for just six when he hit a full toss from fast bowler Suranga Lakmal straight into the hands of Mahela Jayawardene at short cover.

But Kohli and Gambhir added 205 runs for the second wicket before both departing in this space of two balls from medium pacer Farveez Maharoof.

Newly appointed vice-captain Kohli, who also scored a century in his last one-day international in Australia, faced 120 balls and struck only seven fours in a solid knock which earned him the man of the match award.

Gambhir looked nervous having survived a strong lbw appeal off the second ball of the match and he was also dropped by Dinesh Chandimal at long on off Sekkuge Prasanna when on 36.

Gambhir faced 118 balls and hit seven fours in his 10th one-day international century and first since 2010.

Skipper MS Dhoni was unbeaten on 46 off just 26 balls and Suresh Raina added 30 off 17 deliveries to help India's total past 300.

Sri Lanka also made a positive start, Jayawardene scoring 78 off 59 balls with 10 fours and two sixes and Kumar Sangakkara chipping in with 65 off 87 balls.

But regular wickets for Pathan, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and medium pacer Vinay Kumar never allowed Sri Lanka to build significant partnerships which ultimately cost them the game.

Ashwin and Kumar claimed three wickets each.

Sri Lanka play Pakistan in the next match in the tournament on Thursday. India face hosts Bangladesh on Friday.

(Reporting by Azad Majumder, editing by Ed Osmond, for any query please call +8801817030827 or email iashayaan@gmail.com)

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