Deepak Chahar’s (69*) sensational batting takes India to an epic win
Deepak Chahar did a star turn as India win a thriller against Srilanka in the 2nd ODI to take an unassailable lead in the series. India chasing a challenging target of 276 was reduced to 193/7 but fast bowlers Chahar and Bhuvneshwar showed tremendous resilience to take India over the line under extreme pressure.
Winning the toss and batting first Srilanka made a highly competitive score of 275/9 in 50 overs. It was an innings which was almost a mirror image of Srilanka’s batting in the first ODI. Where their batters lost wickets against the run of play after getting well settled.
On this day the openers Avishka Fernando and Minod Bhanuka once again had a productive opening stand of 77 before Chahal took 2 wickets in 2 balls getting Bhanuka (36) and Rajapaksa (0). Dhananjaya (32) and Avishka (50) looked like getting into a long stand before they again lost their wickets against the run of play to allow India back in the game. Deepak Chahar’s (69*) sensational batting takes India to an epic win in 2nd ODI.
However, Asalanka (65) played a superb knock off 68 balls to help Srilanka to accelerate at the back end with the help of Karunaratne who scored a crisp 44 not out off 33 balls to take Srilanka to a highly competitive total of 275/7.
For India Bhuvneshwar (3/54) and Chahar (2/53) bowled well in patches. But the most impressive bowler was Yazuvendra Chahal (3/50) who applied the brakes as usual in the middle overs and took crucial wickets.
In reply, the Indian openers started aggressively but previous match hero Shaw (13) misread a Hassaranga googly and was bowl. Soon Ishan Kishan (1) fresh from his first game 50 tried to cut a delivery close to the stumps from Rajitha and was played-on.
Manish Pandey and Shikhar Dhawan (29) was appearing to settle down before Hassaranga got Dhawan lbw with a straight one.
Surya Kumar Yadav came in and looked in sparkling touch and was hitting boundaries with ease all around the ground. However, his straight drive hit the stumps off the bowlers hands and Manish Pandey(37) who was looking so good on this day was runout. Hardik (0) lasted 3 balls before offering a game catch to midwicket and India slumped further to 116/5.
However, Surya and Krunal Pandya kept going against some tight but inconsistent bowling of Srilanka. Surya scored a polished 53 off 44 balls before he was lbw to Sandakan which again put Srilanka ahead. However, Deepak Chahar showed great confidence as a batter and with Krunal was again getting India back in the game. But India again lost a wicket against the run of play as Krunal (35) was brilliantly bowl by Hassaranga by a ball that spun away and hit off stump.
At 193/7 Srilanka must have thought they had the match firmly in their grasp. But the cool and calm Bhuvneshwar showed his experience under pressure and allowed a confident Deepak Chahar most of the strike.
With tense faces observed in both dugouts, Chahar (69 not out off 82 balls) showed exemplary temperament under extreme tension and handled all the Srilanka bowlers carefully, taking well-calculated risks. He used the extra pace of Chameera to get his boundaries as did Bhuvneshwar ( 19 not out) and India finally won a gripping match by 3 wickets with 5 balls. To spare with both fast bowlers adding an invaluable match-winning 84 runs for the 8th wicket.
Deepak Chahar for his all-round skills was the man of the match.
India won by 3 wkts
SL 275/9 (50 Ovs)
Avishka Fernando. 50(71)
IND 277/7 (49.1 Ovs)
Suryakumar Yadav. 53(44)