In the second ODI of the five-match series at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar formed a calm and composed performance as they shared a crucial century-run stand to help India clinch a nerve-wracking three-wicket win over Sri Lanka by Duckworth-Lewis method.
Chasing a target of 232 runs to win, India made a strong start to their innings, with openers Rohit Sharma (54) and Shikhar Dhawan (49) stitching a pivotal 109-run stand to provide the visitors with an initial thrust.
Consequently, the Men in Blue has a dramatic collapse, losing their seven wickets for just 22 runs. Right-arm Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjay wreaked chaos as he scalped six wickets by conceding just 39 runs to take his side over the course of an intense win. However, Dhoni (38) and Bhuvneshwar (53) took India there on and batted sensibly, not giving away any chance to the Lankan bowlers and slowly and steadily ticking along.
Particularly, the right-arm Indian pacer who scored his highest ODI score to help his side cross the line with 16 balls to spare.
While Bhuvneshwar becomes the first batsman to score a fifty batting at No.9 or lower in India-Lanka ODIs, he and Dhoni also went on to share a highest-ever eighth wicket partnership.
Earlier, Jasprit Bumrah bagged four wickets, Yuzvendra Chahal two while Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel chipped in with a wicket each to help India restrict Lanka to the lowly target of 236-8 in their stipulated 50 overs. Milinda Siriwardana (58) and Chamara Kapugedera (40) were notable contributors for the hosts.
However, because of the rain interference during the innings break, the match was reduced to 47 overs with India being set a target of 231.
India, who registered a crushing nine-wicket win in the opening match in Dambulla, have now taken a 2-0 lead in the ODI series with today’s win.
The two sides will now lock horns in the third ODI on August 27