Batting first, Sri Lanka posted a competitive 275 for 9. Charith Asalanka top-scored with 65, Avishka Fernando made 50 while Chamika Karunaratne was unbeaten on 44 from 33. Bhuvneshwar and Yuzvendra Chahal claimed three wickets each for India. Chasing 276, India lost their top three for 65 before Manish Pandey (37), Suryakumar Yadav (53) and Krunal Pandya (35) kept India in the hunt. Chahar’s brilliance then took India past the finish line
Speaking after winning the man of the match, Chahar said that it was a dream come true to play the kind of knock he did on Tuesday. Chahar stated, “Only one thing was going in my mind (When I came out to bat) and this is the kind of thing you dream when you start playing cricket and when playing for India. No better way to win the match for the nation. Rahul sir told me to play all the balls. I have played few innings for India A and he has belief in me and always believes in me and that was a game changer.
We have a fantastic batting line-up and hopefully I won't get to bat in the next games. This is the first time for me in such a situation. We were just playing ball by ball and when it came under 50 that is when I decided to hit boundaries and after that six (42.2 - off Sandakan) it gave me the momentum,” Chahar added.
Team India captain Shikhar Dhawan praised India’s middle and lower-order for the fight back they demonstrated in the second match. He stated, “The way Krunal fought in the middle was amazing. Everyone showed character. We knew that Chahar has worked hard in the nets on his batting. His presence of mind and calculations against the leg-spinner was amazing. Both Bhuvi and him calculated it really well. I felt the way Sri Lanka planned their innings in both their batting and bowling was amazing. The way they batted and fielded was good to watch. They worked really hard, but glad that we are on the winning side. Every game is a learning lesson and we hope to analyse and get better. We want to put up a good show all the time.”
The third ODI of the series will be played on Friday, July 23.
--By A Cricket Correspondent