Riding on brilliant cameo from seamer Deepak Chahar unbeaten 69 off 82 balls, India from jaws of defeat scripted a three-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the second One-Day International, in Colombo to win the three-match ODI series . They have taken a 2-0 lead.
Chasing 276, India were down and out at 193 for 7 before Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (19 not out off 28 balls) put on an unbeaten 84-run partnership to seal a memorable victory. The victory also extended India’s record of not losing an ODI on Sri Lankan soil since 2012.
The struggling Sri Lankans have only themselves to blame for losing out on what would have been a morale-boosting victory from a commanding position.
Except Chahar and Suryakumar Yadav (53), the Indian batsmen faltered. Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (3-37) troubled the Indians with his variations and ended up being the stand out bowler for the team. India felt the heat early on in the chase with Prithvi Shaw and Ishan Kishan, who both blew away the opposition in Sunday’s opener, getting out to bad shots. Shaw failed to pick a wrong one off Hasaranga and was bowled while going for a cut. The opener once again showed sublime touch during his short stay in the middle, hitting three boundaries before throwing it away.
Kishan, with his feet nowhere close to the bat, tried to whack it through the off-side off pacer Kasun Rajitha only to play it on to the stumps, leaving India reeling at 39 for 2 in four overs. Captain Shikhar Dhawan (29 off 38) was not at his fluent best for the second straight game and was trapped in front by Hasaranga. Manish Pandey (37) was unfortunate to be run-out off a deflection from the bowler’s hand and Hardik Pandya hit straight to mid-wicket to leave India reeling at 116 for 5. Suryakumar and Krunal were involved in a 44-run stand before Chahar produced a stunner from nowhere.
Earlier, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar bagged three wickets each as India restricted Sri Lanka to 275 for 9.
It was somewhat like the series opener, which India won by seven wickets, as most of the Sri Lankan batsmen self-destructed after getting off to good starts after the hosts chose to bat first. Avishka Fernando (50 off 71) and Charith Asalanka (65 off 68) hit fine half-centuries. Chamika Karunaratne (44 not out off 33 balls) produced another timely cameo to take the team past 270. Chahal (3/50) was the pick of the bowlers while pacers Deepak Chahar (2/53) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/54) too got wickets primarily due to profligacy of the Sri Lanka batsmen.