Sri Lanka vs India: Charith Asalanka drives SL to 275/9
Another batting collapse dented the plight of Sri Lanka in the second ODI against India at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. The middle-order batters once again failed to capitalize on the platform set by the openers. However, Charith Asalanka (65) scripted a recovery eventually, driving SL to managed 275/9. Avishka Fernando (50) had earlier set up the foundation of Sri Lanka's innings.
Sri Lanka were flawless in the first powerplay
Just like the series opener, Sri Lanka got off to an ideal start after electing to bat. Openers Fernando and Minod Bhanuka looked sturdy and denied the Indian bowlers any breakthrough in the first 10. Sri Lanka scored 59 in the first powerplay without losing any wicket. Notably, both the openers were dropped once in the first two overs.
Chahal gave India the all-important breakthrough
Just when the Sri Lankan openers began to accelerate, things went south for the hosts. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal struck twice in two balls in the 14th over. He removed opener Bhanuka (36) and top-order batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa (0). Chahal was all over the Lankans in the innings. He picked up a total of three wickets and conceded 50 runs.
Deepak Chahar took two wickets
Besides Chahal, fast bowler Deepak Chahar was also among wickets. He dismissed the dangerous Dhananjaya de Silva (32) in the 28th over when SL were eyeing a significant partnership. Although Bhuvneshwar Kumar took three wickets, he seems to have dropped his pace. He bowled around the 125 KPH-mark in the innings. Meanwhile, the likes of Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav remained wicketless.
The Lankan middle-order disappoints again
Sri Lanka replicated the plot of first ODI in terms of batting. They were cruising at 77/0 before Minod (36) departed. By the half-way stage, they were reduced to 124/3, and were soon tottering at 194/6. Charith Asalanka repaired the damage to an extent by taking the hosts past 200. However, the likes of Dhananjaya (32) couldn't capitalize earlier.
Fernando, Asalanka shine for SL
Fernando played a defiant knock at the top. He moved his feet meticulously while playing the spinners. The right-handed batsman slammed his fourth half-century in ODI cricket. He racked up 50 off 71 balls with the help of 4 fours and 1 six. Meanwhile, middle-order batsman Asalanka smashed his maiden ODI half-century. He (65) helped SL post a challenging total toward the end.