Chahar seals India’s series win over SL
Colombo, July 20: Tail-ender Deepak Chahar brought India back from the dead with a steely 69 off 82 balls and script the visiting team’s series-sealing victory in the second ODI against Sri Lanka here on Tuesday.
Chasing 276, India were down and out at 193 for seven before Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (19 not out) forged an unbeaten 84-run stand to seal a memorable win for the visitors who extended their record of not losing an ODI on Sri Lankan soil since 2012.
A struggling Sri Lankan outfit badly needed a morale-boosting win but had only itself to blame for not finishing the job from a commanding position.
Chahar, whose highest score before this game was 12, showed remarkable resolve and composure under pressure to take his team over the line with five balls to spare. He fittingly hit the winning boundary.
It was India’s ninth consecutive bilateral series win over Sri Lanka. The third ODI will be played on Friday.
It was expected to be another comfortable chase for India after Sri Lanka put an improved batting effort to post 275 for nine.
However, questionable shot selection from the majority of the Indian batsmen gave their struggling opponents hope. Barring Chahar and Suryakumar Yadav (53), the Indian batsmen faltered.
Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga troubled the Indians with his variations and ended up being the stand out bowler for his team.
India felt the heat early on in the chase with Prithvi Shaw and Ishan Kishan, who both blew away the opposition in the opener on Sunday, getting out to bad shots as India were 39 for two in four overs.
India were reeling at 116 for five before Suryakumar and Krunal stitched a 44-run stand.
However, Chahar produced a stunner from nowhere for a remarkable win. Earlier, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal led India’s decent effort with the ball.
The Sri Lankan batsmen got starts but failed to capitalise after the hosts opted to bat. Avishka Fernando (50) and Charith Asalanka (65) struck fine half-centuries but the home team wasn’t disciplined enough to post an imposing total.
The momentum shifted India’s way drastically after Chahal removed Minod and Bhanuka Rajapaksa off successive balls in the 14th over. Chahal with figures of 3/50 turned out to be India’s pick of the bowlers.
Bhuvneshar kept things tight but bowled at a slower pace than his usual.
The two teams play the third and final ODI on Friday. (PTI)