Cuttack , Dec 20 (IANS) A combined batting effort helped India score 180/3 against Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Barabati Stadium here on Wednesday.
Opener Lokesh Rahul (61) played sensibly at the top order before Mahendra Singh Dhoni (39 not out) and Manish Pandey (32 not out) finished off the proceedings in style. From 112/3, Dhoni and Pandey built the innings and piloted India to a decent score.
Put in to bat, India started off on a good note as openers Rohit Sharma (17) and Rahul added 38 runs in five overs before Rohit mistimed a short to mid-on off Angelo Mathews. In his 13 ball innings, the Mumbai batsman, who became the second Indian after Virat Kohli to complete 1500 runs, managed to hit only two boundaries.
Incoming batsmen Shreyas Iyer (24) then joined Rahul in the middle and the duo forged 74-run partnership to help their team to cross 100-run mark without losing any wickets.
Just when things seemed good in the middle, Iyer was dismissed Nuwan Pradeep in the 13th over when the scoreboard was reading 112. Iyer played 20 balls and slammed three boundaries.
After adding few more runs with new batsmen Dhoni, Rahul was also sent packing in the 15th over by Thisara Perera. While trying to hit the boundary, Rahul completely missed and ball went on to hit the stumps. His 48-ball innings comprised off seven boundaries and one six.
The fall of Rahul's wicket brought in Pandey. Pandey and Dhoni played sensibly and punished the bad balls. Soon, India crossed 150 run mark in the 19th over.
The last few deliveries saw some power-hitting from both the batsmen especially from the Pandey. Dhoni also displayed some shots and finally closed Indian innings with a six.
For Sri Lanka, Mathews, Pradeep and Perera chipped in with one wicket each.
Brief scores: India 180/3 (Lokesh Rahul 61 Mahendra Singh Dhoni 39; Angelo Mathews 1/19) against Sri Lanka.