MS Dhoni completed 16,000 runs in international cricket (Image courtesy: IANS)
MS Dhoni completed 16,000 runs in international cricket (Image courtesy: IANS)

Both sides had debutant captains. Thisara Perera called it right at the toss and elected to bowl. Rohit Sharma said that the sun was out and he would have batted anyway. Over an hour into India’s innings, the scorecard read 29 for 7. Threat loomed over Zimbabwe’s 35. Sri Lankan pacers, led by Suranga Lakmal, were making the ball talk as they followed the commands of the conditions.

Cometh the hour, cometh the superstar. MS Dhoni, not for the first time in his career, braved the odds and helped India to 112. The three-figure mark looked gold. Little more support could have swung the pendulum towards India’s way. That wasn’t the case. Sri Lanka ensured that the losing streak remains 12, as they trounced India by 7 wickets to take 1-0 lead.

Apart from Sri Lanka’s well-wishers, the game was a delight to the number-crunchers. Here are the statistical highlights:

Most balls faced for duck by Indian batman: Neither did Dinesh Karthik have any clue about what was going, nor did Manish Pandey and most Indian batters. But this is about Karthik’s rare feat. Some balls cut him in half, some whizzed past the edge; and this one from Lakmal nipped in and thudded his pads. The finger went up.

Karthik’s 18-ball 0 is now the slowest duck in India’s ODI chronicles. Eknath Solkar had faced 17 against England at The Oval in 1974, while WV Raman and Sourav Ganguly had faced 16 balls each. Raman’s came against South Africa at Johannesburg in 1992, while Ganguly achieved that as a captain, in 2001, against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Most maidens played: India played a total of 13 maiden overs, their most in an ODI. They had played 12 each against England at Lord’s and New Zealand at Auckland in 1975 and 1981 respectively.

The record for the most maidens bowled by a team in an ODI remains with India. They had bowled 19 against East Africa in the 1975 World Cup. Bishan Singh Bedi’s figures read 12-8-6-1.

No-balls put MS Dhoni's efforts in vain; Sri Lanka hammer India by 7 wickets in Dharamsala ODI
No-balls put MS Dhoni's efforts in vain; Sri Lanka hammer India by 7 wickets in Dharamsala ODI

16 for 5: 16 is now the lowest score at which India have lost five wickets. Earlier, it was 17. India were reduced to that score by Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup before Kapil Dev bludgeoned 175 not out.

A year back, at the same venue, Hardik Pandya was presented with his ODI cap by Kapil. Pandya, India’s most celebrated all-rounder since Kapil, couldn’t replicate the feat. He fell for 10.

Dhoni scores 58.03 % of team’s runs: Dhoni was the last Indian wicket to fall for 65. The team total read 112; it meant he had scored a whopping 58.03 per cent of his side’s run.

Dhoni – 65 off 87 balls
Rest of team – 42 off 143 balls

Highest percentage of runs in a completed Indian innings

Player Against Score Team total %
Kapil Dev Zimbabwe, 1983 175* 266 for 8 65.78
Rohit Sharma Sri Lanka, 2014 264 404 for 5 65.34
Sourav Ganguly New Zealand, 1999 153* 261 for 5 58.62
MS Dhoni Sri Lanka, 2017 65 122 all out 58.03

Dhoni is at No. 22 in the overall list, which is topped by Viv Richards. Richards had scored 189 not out against England at Manchester in 1984, as West Indies put up 272 for 9. He scored a whopping 69.48 per cent of his side’s runs.

Dhoni to the 16,000-club: Dhoni en route to his 65 became the sixth Indian batsman after Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli to register 16,000 international runs. Dhoni also became the second wicketkeeper-batsman after Kumar Sangakkara to achieve this.

Interestingly, earlier this month, Kohli had become the fastest to the mark, as it took him only 350 innings to get it. Statistician Abhishek Kumar points out that in terms of matches Dhoni has been the slowest (483).

This was Dhoni’s 483rd innings, too!

2nd most 50-plus scores against Sri Lanka: Dhoni went past Saeed Anwar’s mark. Anwar has 20 such scores and Dhoni 21. Tendulkar tops the list with 25.

Most ducks: Shikhar Dhawan, Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah fell for 0. This is their joint-most in an ODI. However, this has happened 4 times before. Their last instances were against South Africa at Nagpur in the 2011 World Cup. They achieved the same against Australia at Guwahati in 2009, against Pakistan at Hyderabad (Sind) in 1997 and against Pakistan at Sharjah in 1995.

India’s lowest home score in 21st century: 112 is India’s lowest home score in this century. It is also India’s third lowest total at home. Their lowest total, 78, at home came against Sri Lanka at Kanpur, in 1986.

Overall, this is India’s joint 14th-lowest total in ODIs. India’s lowest score is 54. That came against Sri Lanka in Sharjah, 2000.

India’s 3rd biggest defeat in terms of balls remaining: Sri Lanka won with 176 balls to spare. India’s worst two defeats, too, came in Sri Lanka’s hands: 209 balls were remaining at Dambulla in 2010 and 181 remaining balls at Hambantota in 2012. This is India’s biggest defeat in terms of balls remaining at home.

Five-long months: Sri Lanka’s last win in ODIs had come in the first week of July. 13 games later, they won another.