Deepak Chahar showcased his talent with the bat under pressure to take India to a memorable three-wicket triumph in the second One-Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka on Tuesday (July 20). Chahar hammered unbeaten 69 off 82 deliveries and shared an unbeaten 84-run partnership for the eighth wicket alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bring India back from the dead. The tourists now have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Chahar was promoted in the batting order and came out before Bhuvneshwar when the Indian team looked down and out at 160 for 6 in 27 overs, chasing 276 to win. Soon the lone recognised batter Krunal Pandya was dismissed as the seventh man with the team score on 193. At that point Bhuvneshwar joined Chahar out in the middle, with India needing 83 off 89.
Both showed a matured approach under that situation. Chahar was the aggressor, hitting seven fours and a six while Bhuvneshwar scored 19 off 28 deliveries and played a perfect foil to his junior through the historic run-chase.
Earlier in the innings India were caught by surprise as the Sri Lankans brought in leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga in just the third over of the innings. The leggie's googly castled Prithvi Shaw (13 off 11) to give his team an early breakthrough.
Hasaranga got the other two important wickets of Shikhar Dhawan (29 off 38) and Krunal (35 off 54 balls) to leave the hosts tottering. However, teammates could not provide him enough support from the other end.
Last match’s hero Ishan Kishan failed to get going in his game as he was played on off Kasun Rajitha. Suryakumar Yadav (53 off 44) and Manish Pandey (37 off 31) kept the visitors on track in the middle overs. But both of them got out in a quick succession to give Sri Lanka a marginal edge in the contest. Unfortunately their bowlers were not being able to finish the job in the end.
Earlier, Chamika Karunaratne's unbeaten 44 off 33 balls towards the end of the innings took Sri Lanka to 275 for nine in their allotted 50 overs. Avishka Fernando (50 off 71 balls) and Charith Asalanka (65 off 68 balls) scored half-centuries to lead the Lankans to a challenging total.
For India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (3/50) and Bhuvneshwar (3/54) were the most successful bowlers for India. Seamer Bhuvneshwar got rid of both the half-centurions after Chahal had got the first two wickets.
This was India's 93rd win over Sri Lanka, the most by a team against a particular opponent in ODI cricket.
The third and final game of the series will be played on Thursday (July 22).
Sri Lanka 275 for 9 in 50 overs (C Asalanka 65, A Fernando 50, C Karunaratne 44*, Y Chahal 3/50, Bhuvneshawr Kumar 3/54) lost to India 277 for 7 in 49.1 overs (D Chahar 69*, S Yadav 53, M Pandey 37, K Pandya 35, W Hasaranga 3/37) by three wickets.
Player of the Match: Deepak Chahar
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