Zaheer eliminated the cream of Lankan batting with his prolonged first spell that read 8-3-11-4. The hosts, who wilted under pressure exerted by India new ball bowlers, were eventually bundled out for paltry 142 in 38.3 overs. Praveen claimed 3/34 while Harbhajan took 2/26.
No. 8 batsman Thilana Thushara top-scored for Lankans with a strokeful 44. He added an invaluable 74 runs for the seventh wicket stand with Kulasekara (25).
India, in reply, got off to a bad start losing two wickets in quick succession. The visitors were in spot of bother at 17/2 in 5 overs at lunch interval. Make shift opener Pathan was the first to go for a regulation caught behind offer to Sanga off Kulasekara. The out-of-sorts Raina came and went in jiffy when he was trapped plumb infront by Kulasekara for one.
Earlier the depleted batting resources with Gambhir adding to a long injury list forced India to opt fielding. However the decision to bowl first paid dividends when the new ball attack utilised the seamer-friendly conditions in a measured way.
The initial burst from Zaheer ripped off Lankan top-order with Sangakkara being cleaned up in the very second over. Then followed Jayawardene, attempting to guide the length delivery to third-man got a faint edge and flew to Yuvraj at slip cordon. Two balls later Zaheer snared Kapugedera caught Dhoni for 2 as Lanka slumped to 3/10 in six overs.
In the following over Praveen sent Silva packing for duck.
Zaheer struck after a lull for six overs. The left-arm seamer swung the ball back from the outside the off stump line to rap Jayasuriya on front pad for a plumb LBW. Lanka lost one more wicket in the shape of Dilshan. The Lankan all-rounder pulled Pathan straight into the hands of debutant Badri stationed at long-leg to leave Lankan innings tottering at 44/6.
Kulasekera joined by Thushara in the middle steadied the Lankan ship with a responsable 74-run stand. Thushara played a strokeful innings 44 off 46 inclusive of seven boundaries while his partner Kulasekara (62-ball 25) a patient one. The duo guided their side past 100 and ensured a fighting total on a two-paced wicket.
Lanka 142 all out in 38.3 overs (Thilana Thushara 44, Kulasekara 25, Dilshan 16; Zaheer 4/21, Praveen 3/34, Harbhajan 2/26) Vs India 17 for 2 in 5 overs at interval (Virat Kohli 7 n o; Kulasekara 2/7).