Deepak Chahar’s whirlwind unbeaten knock of 69 off 82 balls and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s calm 28-ball 19* has helped India snatch a win from the jaws of certain defeat in the second ODI in Colombo by three wickets. And, by doing that, India have also pocketed the series 2-0 besides claiming 10 points in the ICC ODI Super League table.
Batting first, Sri Lankan opening duo of Avishka Fernando (50 off 71 balls) and Minod Bhanuka (36 off 42 balls) again gave their side a good start as they accumulated 77 runs in 13 overs.
However, Bhanuka fell against the run-of-play to Yuzvendra Chahal in the 14th over and the leg-spinner backed it up with yet another wicket on the very next delivery as he induced an outside edge off Rajapaksa’s bat.
The middle-overs once again proved to be the nemesis of the Sri Lankan batters as they struggled to rotate the strike, losing wickets at regular intervals while trying to go for the release shot.
Deepak Chahar (2/53 in 8) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/54 in 10) chipped in with five wickets between during the middle and death overs while Chahal too claimed another one in the form of Dasun Shanaka to finish with figures of 3/50 in 10.
Kuldeep Yadav, on the other hand, had a disappointing day as he gave away 55 runs in his 10 overs without taking a single wicket.
Charith Asalanka’s brilliant 68-ball 65 and an unbeaten counter-attacking 33-ball 44 by Chamika Karunaratne helped Sri Lanka post 9/275 in 50 overs.
In reply, India once again got off to flying start as Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan smashed as many as six boundaries in the first 12 balls.
However, the introduction of Wanindu Hasaranga in just the 3rd over of the Indian innings proved to be the turning point as the leg-spinner knocked over Shaw with a googly before he trapped Shikhar Dhawan plumb in front with a skiddy delivery.
Kasun Rajitha, meanwhile, got Ishan Kishan to chop one back on his stumps. Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav did the rebuilding job as the duo stitched an entertaining 50-run-stand in just over 5 overs.
Surya was at his best against the spinners as he dished out his 360-degree play against them. Danish Pandey, on the other hand, looked very calm and composed as he regularly rotated the strike besides cashing in on anything that was in his hiring arc.
But, just as it looked that the duo were on course to have a really big partnership, Pandey got run-out at the non-striker’s end after a straight drive from SKY deflected from the bowler’s hand to hit the stumps.
A collapse ensued after Pandey’s wicket as Hardik Pandya went for a 3-ball duck while Suryakumar Yadav too perished after having struck his maiden ODI fifty, leaving India reeling at 6/160 in 27 overs.
Krunal Pandya (35 off 54) and Deepak Chahar stitched 44 runs in the next 9 overs before Wanindu Hasaranga dealt another blow on Team India as he outfoxed the former to dislodge his off-stump.
India looked down and out but Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar proceeded to do an encore of Pallekele 2017 where MS Dhoni and the latter won the game for the visitors from a precarious position.
This time Chahar played the role of Bhuvi as he swung his bat around and smashed a whirlwind fifty while the experienced pacer donned Dhoni’s cap.
Sri Lanka completely lost the plot in the final four overs, especially Dushmanta Chameera, who conceded two fours (both hit by Bhuvneshwar Kumar) in the 49th over to effectively ensure an Indian win.
And, it was fitting that Chahar finished it off courtesy a disdainful pull on the first ball of the final over. Thanks to the three-wicket win, India have not only won the series but they have also claimed 10 ICC ODI Super League points.
Here’s a look at the updated ICC ODI Super League points table-