SL vs IND: Shikhar Dhawan becomes first Indian batsman to hit six consecutive 50-plus scores against any team in ODI

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SL vs IND: Shikhar Dhawan becomes first Indian batsman to hit six consecutive 50-plus scores against any team in ODI

Posted on : Monday 21st of August 2017

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Opener Shikhar Dhawan continued with his red-hot form over Sri Lanka notching up an astounding unbeaten century as Team India extended successfully their domination over the Islanders in the first one-day international match winning by nine wickets, at Dambulla, on Sunday.

Opting to bowl first, Indian skipper Virat Kohli invited the hosts to step in to bat. Openers Danushka Gunathilaka (35) and Niroshan Dickwella (65) took off to a blazing start stitching a fiery 74-run partnership until wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal struck to dismiss the former off a mistimed reverse sweep. Dickwella continued his rampage with his edgy batting prowess alongside Kusal Mendis. The southpaw even notched up his fifth ODI fifty. But all turned sour for the hosts as the spinners struck one-by-one to crumble down Sri Lankan hope of a big total, within 44 overs.

With just 216-run target, right hand-left hand combo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan stepped in. After the former's bizarre run out in the fifth over, skipper Kohli combined with Dhawan to cruise the Indian ship past the paltry total weaving a phenomenal 197-run stand. The southpaw laced through 20 boundaries and three over-the-rope hammering to notch up his 11th ODI ton in just 71 deliveries. It was his fastest ever in the 50-over format and second fastest in an India versus Sri Lanka match in ODIs.

Dhawan's tally of fifty-plus scores against Sri Lanka have now accounted to seven, equalling former Indian opener Virender Sehwag. Leading the chart is, however, Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar with 25 such knocks, falling one behind is Kumar Sangakkara. Adding to it, this was Dhawan's sixth consecutive fifty-plus score against the Islanders becoming the first batsman to achieve this feat. His last six innings are against Sri Lanka are - 94, 113, 79, 91, 125 and 132 n.o. Australia's Dean Jones, former Indian batsman Navjot Singh Sidhu, former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin and Pakistani great Saeed Anwar all had five suck knocks to their name against Sri Lanka. He is now also the first Indian batsman to score six consecutive fifty-plus scores against a team in the 50-over format.

Kohli too showered praise on the 31-year-old saying, "The last three months have been a great time for Dhawan and he's cashing in on his purple patch. Hopefully, he stays in this happy zone and we’ll make sure he stays there because he will win you games as long he's in it. Once he starts going, it's very difficult to stop him."

India's next ODI match is on August 24, at Pallekele.  

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