Colombo, July 21 (India Today) – Deepak Chahar emerged as India’s unlikely hero with the bat as the fast bowler hit an unbeaten 69 to help the visitors gun down a 276-run target in a thriller in the 2nd ODI of a 3-match series against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Tuesday.
Deepak and Bhuvneshwar Kumar came up with an unbeaten 84-run stand for the 8th wicket as India recovered from 193 for 7 to pull of a stunning win. India have taken an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the 3-match series and extended their winning run in Sri Lanka that dates back to 2012. This was also India’s 10th successive win over Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in 10 ODIs.
Before Tuesday, Deepak Chahar’s highest ODI score was just 12 and he had only List A fifty but the Chennai Super Kings bowler looked calm and composed even as the asking rate touched 6 with only 3 wickets in the bag. Deepak and Bhuvneshwar were in no hurry when they joined hands after India lost Krunal Pandya, who hit a fighting 35.
Thanks to Suryakumar Yadav’s quickfire 53 from 44 balls, Chahar and Bhuvneshwar did not feel the scoreboard pressure. The two tail-enders never lost their composure as they attacked with caution and took India past the finish line.
Deepak Chahar, in a dream-come-true moment, hit the winning runs with a big shot.
Earlier in the day, India got off to a poor start as they lost opener Prithvi Shaw and one-down Ishan Kishan early. Captain Shikhar Dhawan was undone by Wanidu Hasaranga who finished with figures of 3/37, carrying Sri Lanka’s hopes single-handedly with the ball.
New-ball woes continue for India
In the first innings, another late cameo from Chamika Karunaratne helped Sri Lanka push their total to a respectable 275 for 9 in 50 overs. Karunartne’s cameo had helped Sri Lanka post 262 in the first ODI on Sunday but this time the all-rounder hit 5 boundaries for his 33-ball 44 not out to punish India at the death once again.
India’s struggles to strike with the new ball was as Sri Lanka added 77 for the first wicket in just 13.2 overs. Bhuvneshwar and Deepak struggled to strike early once again as both Avishka Fernando Minod Bhanuka went after the two bowlers.
India once again got their first breakthrough in the series through Yuzvendra Chahal, who got the wicket of Bhanuka in the 14th over. Chahal struck in the very next ball, sending Bhanuka Rajapaksa for 0 with a superb variation.
Yuzvendra Chahal shines with 3-wicket haul
However, Avishka and Dhananjaya de Silva tried to rescue the innings with a steady 47-run stand. Just when Avishka got to his fifty and was looking to push on, Bhuvneshwar struck in his 2nd spell, remvoing the opener for 50.
It was Charith Asalanka who top-scored for Sri Lanka as the right-hander played a superbly-paced knock in the middle-order. With 6 boundaries, Asalanka hit 66 off 68 balls before Karunaratne’s late cameo.
Yuvencra Chahal added one more to his tally by removing captain Dasun Shanaka for 16 but his fellow spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya did not pick up wickets in the middle overs, allowing Asalanka to keep the scoreboard moving in the middle overs.
Chahal finished his quota of overs with figures of 3 for 50 while Bhuvneshwar and Deepak Chahar shared 5 wickets between them despite not striking with the new ball.