Kohli and Ashwin underpin India win
Virat Kohli struck 77 and Ravichandran Ashwin impressed with bat and ball as India battled to a four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka at Perth in the second match of the Commonwealth Bank one-day international tri-series.
Off-spinner Ashwin, with 3-32 from 10 overs, was chiefly responsible for restricting Sri Lanka to a modest 233 for eight after Mahela Jayawardene had opted to bat first on his return to the captaincy. Dinesh Chandimal top-scored with 64.
Kohli then underpinned a successful India pursuit, but - after he had become the third batsman to fall in the space of four overs - it was Ashwin who saw Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men over the line, contributing 30 to an unbroken stand of 53 with Ravindra Jadeja.
Sachin Tendulkar hit 48 at the top of the order for India, who made it home with 20 balls unused to record their first victory of the tournament.
Tendulkar was involved early on, the veteran batsman taking a catch at slip in the third over to account for Upul Tharanga after the left-hander had advanced down the wicket to Zaheer Khan.
A partnership of 62 steadied Sri Lanka, but Kumar Sangakkara was then superbly caught by wicketkeeper Dhoni, diving to his left, to provide Zaheer with a second scalp.
After Tillakaratne Dilshan, on 48, had cut a wide delivery from Jadeja to Kohli at point, Ashwin then accounted for Jayawardene, who swept a flighted delivery straight to backward square-leg, and had Thisara Perera and Chandimal stumped.
Angelo Mathews did his best to lift Sri Lanka with an unbeaten 28-ball 33, but the target appeared unlikely to cause India too many problems.
Although Virender Sehwag was caught at third man off Lasith Malinga for 10, Kohli and Tendulkar guided their side into a position of strength.
The Little Master was unable to find his best form and chopped an innocuous delivery from Mathews onto his own stumps in the 19th over.
Yet Kohli, imperious off his hips and generally at ease on a pacy pitch, held firm, despite seeing Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Dhoni depart.
When Kohli was eventually run out by Malinga with 53 needed, after attempting to steal a single to mid-on, Sri Lanka were provided with fresh hope.
Jadeja and Ashwin responded in composed fashion, however, the former finishing unbeaten on 24 from 28 deliveries.
The match was brought to an end in bizarre fashion, Ashwin lofting a drive high into the air and picking up a single as three fielders converged at mid-off only to then leave the ball for each other.