Deepak Chahar helps India beat Sri Lanka in 2nd ODI
A splendid knock by Deepak Chahar (69*) helped India script an incredible victory over Sri Lanka in the second ODI at the R Premadasa Stadium. The tail-ender registered his maiden international half-century as the visitors chased down 276 to win the match. Suryakumar Yadav also starred with a 44-ball 53. India have now gained an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-match ODI series.
Sri Lanka got off to an ideal start after electing to bat. Openers Fernando and Minod Bhanuka took them to 77/0, however, Yuzvendra Chahal ignited the batting collapse. Charith Asalanka and Chamika Karunaratne powered the hosts to 275/9. None of the Indian batters besides Suryakumar got going in the run-chase during the middle phase. A magnificent knock by Chahar turned India's fortunes around eventually.
Deepak Chahar turned out to be the star performer for India in the match. He played a match-defining inning, having smashed his maiden half-century in ODI cricket. He arrived in the middle when India were reduced to 160/6. Chahar played watchfully at the start but accelerated once India were within touching distance. He was also among wickets in the first innings (2/53).
With yet another victory, India have extended their winning streak in Sri Lanka to 10. They last lost an ODI in the nation in July 2012 (by nine wickets). This is their longest unbeaten streak against Sri Lanka away from home. India won their 17th ODI at the R Premadasa Stadium (seventh consecutive). Sri Lanka last defeated India here in September 2009.
Indian captain Shikhar Dhawan has been vulnerable in front of spinners in white-ball cricket. Today as well, he fell to Wanindu Hasaranga, who trapped the former in front. Besides Hasaranga, Dhawan has been dismissed by the likes of Adil Rashid, Adam Zampa, and Mitchell Swepson in international cricket of late. Dhawan was troubled by the spinners in the England ODI series too.
Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar looked quite predictable at the start. He was unable to make a breakthrough in his initial spell. However, he bounced back eventually, taking three wickets. Two of those were taken by Bhuvi in the final over. He now owns over 50 ODI wickets (52) for India in the last 10 (41-50) since 2010 (third-most among Indians).
It is interesting to note that Bhuvneshwar bowled his first no-ball in international cricket since 2015. The Indian pace spearhead conceded the extra off the first ball of the fifth over in the first innings. Notably, Bhuvi overstepped after 3,093 deliveries in international cricket
Sri Lankan opener Avishka Fernando was impressive against the spinners in the first innings. The right-handed batsman slammed his fourth half-century (50) in ODI cricket. Meanwhile, middle-order batsman Asalanka smashed his maiden ODI half-century. He (65) helped SL post a challenging total toward the end. All-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga jeopardized the Indian batsmen in the run-chase. He picked up three wickets.