Hambantota: India showed good fighting skills against Sri Lanka in the opening ODI here on Saturday and while there were several stand-out performances with the bat as well as with the ball, skipper MS Dhoni chose to specially credit Irfan Pathan.
Pathan claimed 2 wickets and had earlier smashed a boundary, coming in to bat late in the Indian innings. His seven runs took his side to 305 but it was his all-round ability that, according to Dhoni, helped India. "Zak bowled good but it was Irfan Pathan who played well. He lends a balance to the side which is very important in the absence of (Ravindra) Jadeja and Yuvraj (Singh)," he said in the post-match ceremony.
Irfan was the first to claim a wicket when Sri Lanka came out to bat. He caught Tillakaratne Dilshan in front of the stumps to send him walking back in the second over. The all-rounder later returned to remove Thisara Perrera who had smashed a six and three boundaries in his innings worth 44.