Updated: Jul 24, 2021
India 277/7 (Chahar 69*, Suryakumar Yadav 53, Hasaranga 3/37) beat Sri Lanka 275/9 (Asalanka 65, Fernando 50, Karunaratne 44, Chahal 3/50) by 3 wickets.
At 193 for 7, with 83 runs needed in 89 balls in the second innings, the chips were down as far as Team India was concerned. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had joined Deepak Chahar in the middle with a mountain to climb. The Sri Lankan team until then had done a brilliant job with the ball and were just three wickets away from levelling the series.
However, Indian fast-bowling all-rounders, Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, had other plans as the duo put on an unbeaten run-a-ball 84-run partnership for the eighth wicket to guide India to a 3-wicket win and thereby seal the series 2-0 on Tuesday.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Sri Lankan batsmen posted 13 more runs than what they had scored in the first match. They finished at 275 for 9 in 50 overs. Unlike the first ODI, there were two half-centuries scored by Sri Lankan cricketers Avishka Fernando and Asalanka. Chamika Karunaratne, once again, exhibited his batting prowess in the death overs as his unbeaten 44 took the team to a total with which they could challenge a formidable Indian batting line-up.
Sri Lanka bowled much better than the last ODI and did well to get the top seven Indian wickets for 193. Though, they would be disappointed to not have crossed the line in the end.
Here’s a look at three major takeaways from the match:
Deepak Chahar- The Savior
Deepak Chahar would be proud of himself and so will be former India captain MS Dhoni. The CSK bowling all-rounder not only scored his first half-century in ODI cricket but also finished the game for the side. In the first innings, he got two wickets with the ball in 8 overs. There were a few dropped catches off his bowling that should also have been taken.
When Chahar came into bat, India had lost their 6th wicket in the form of a set batsman in Suryakumar Yadav with India’s score at 160 at the end of the 27th over. Krunal Pandya, on the other hand, was being tested with a barrage of bouncers. There was little hope still left for an India fan with him around. Once Krunal departed for a well-fought 35, not a lot was left in the game as Sri Lanka could smell the win.
However, Deepak Chahar - The Saviour - who was only giving the strike back to Krunal until then, took upon himself and played perhaps the best knock of his cricketing career. Under pressure, he held his nerves and it never looked like that he wasn’t in control. He was the aggressor in the match-winning 84-run partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Chahar hit 7 fours and 1 six en-route to his match-winning 69 off 82 balls. He respected the good balls and didn’t try to take on Hasaranga, which was heartening to see. Not to forget Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 19 off 28, who played as a second fiddle to Chahar. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s mantra of staying calm and giving as much strike to Chahar kept India in good stead.
Deepak Chahar’s 69-run knock has further strengthened his case for a fast-bowling all-rounder in the team with T20 World Cup a few months away.
Hasaranga’s three-for, Karunaratne’s 44 off 33- Positives for Sri Lanka
Despite losing the second ODI, Sri Lanka has a few positives to boast about. After returning with ordinary figures in the last game, Hasaranga has come back with a spirited performance on Tuesday. He came into the attack in the third over of the innings and outfoxed Prithvi Shaw to deny India a strong start. He then took the big fish in the 12th over, sending Shikhar Dhawan back to the pavilion.
Indian players failed to read his googlies and straighter ones (barring Suryakumar Yadav) as he picked up a wicket whenever India was trying to develop a partnership. Krunal Pandya was his third vital scalp, finishing with figures of 3 for 37 in 10 overs. He would be disappointed to not have picked Chahar in his final two overs but nevertheless, it was an impactful performance with the ball.
On the second consecutive occasion, Chamika Kuranaratne played a vital knock lower down the order. In both the games, it looked like Sri Lanka would end up below 250. But Kuranaratne’s valuable knocks helped Sri Lanka reach competitive totals. His runs in the final few overs have been extremely valuable, even though Sri Lanka lost both the games. Sri Lanka perhaps have found a man who could finish for them strongly. His 6 overs with the ball has only further raised his stocks.
Hardik Pandya’s poor form and fitness concern hasn’t kept India in good stead
There is no denying that Hardik Pandya is an integral part of India’s limited overs team. There’s no better all-rounder than him currently in the set-up. However, his returns in the first two ODIs haven’t been a great sign for India. Hardik Pandya hasn’t looked up to the mark as far as his fitness standards are concerned.
He bowled 4 overs on Tuesday and 5 overs in the last game. He got the opportunity to bat in the second ODI but went back without scoring a run.
With the T20 World Cup coming, Hardik Pandya’s form and fitness remain among the biggest concerns for India and the team management would look to rectify that in the coming days. India would hurt big time if Hardik Pandya couldn’t bowl his quota of overs in the big event.
Records Broken: 1. Deepak Chahar/Bhuvneshwar Kumar's 84-run stand was 2nd Highest 8th wicket stands for India in ODIs.
2. Deepak Chahar becomes the seventh players overall to score 50-plus runs for India in ODIs at no. 8 position.
Twitter Reactions from Second ODI against Sri Lanka
Skipper Virat Kohli took some time out of his busy schedule at Durham and praised the boys in Sri Lanka for their fantastic win via his Twitter handle.
Harsha Bhogle rightly pointed out via his twitter handle that Team India is really looking for a bowler at no.8 position who can bat and Deepak Chahar fits in that slot.
Former Indian player, Yuvraj Singh applauded Team India's bench strength.
Former India fast bowler, Venkatesh Prasad at his wittiest best.