India vs Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Top Performances: Kuldeep Yadav's 3-51, KL Rahul's 64 and Nuwanidu Fernando's 50 are top performances. India beat Sri Lanka by 4 wickets at Eden Gardens and lead three-match series by 2-0.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 215 (Nuwanidu Fernando 50, Mendis 34, Kuldeep 3-51, Siraj 3-30) lost to India 219-6 (Rahul 64*, Hardik 36, Karunaratne 2-51) by 4 wickets
Player of the Match: Kuldeep Yadav – 3-51
Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka won the toss and elected to bat first at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Being one-down in the series, it was crucial for Sri Lanka to win this match. But, after winning the toss Sri Lanka could not capitalise on this advantage.
They had a slow start with Avishka Fernando and the debutant Nuwaindu Fernando on the crease. In the powerplay, they lost Avishka. Siraj knocked him over for 20(17). Kusal Mendis and Nuwaindu lent some stability and put on a solid partnership of 73 runs for the second wicket.
It is very important to have more than one solid partnership in ODIs and that is where Sri Lanka failed. There was not a single batter apart from Fernando who scored more than 35 runs.
India’s reply began with Rohit Sharma and Shubhman Gill coming into bat with positive intent. However, both the openers got out after getting a start. Virat Kohli, the centurion of the previous game too got out cheaply. It was a length ball from Lahiru Kumara that came in sharply. Kohli had no answer for that and was cleaned up.
It was the fifth wicket partnership of 75 between KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya that steadies India’s ship after they were 86-4 at one stage. Rahul took India home with a well-made 64* as the hosts wrapped up their 10th home ODI series victory against Sri Lanka.
Let’s take a look at the top performances from the second ODI between India and Sri Lanka in Kolkata.
Nuwanidu Fernando scores fifty on debut
Nuwanidu scored a half-century on debut, and Kusal looked good at the other end. It was a special knock from the debutant. The pitch was not that easy to bat on and there were wickets falling around him. Also, whenever you play your first game there are always butterflies in your stomach. Yet he kept his calm and scored a brilliant half-century.
Nuwanidu was set and was holding on from one end. But there was a slight fumble and brilliant work from Shubman Gill to get his man. That was probably the turning point of the game.
Kuldeep Yadav disrupts Sri Lanka’s batting line-up
Once the ball was slightly old, Rohit introduced spinners. Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel were unleashed. Kuldeep picked up three crucial wickets. Sri Lanka went from 102-1 to 126-6 in no time.
Kusal was the first one to get out after being set. Axar, from the other end, got Dhananjaya de Silva for a duck. Kuldeep then picked the man in form Dasun Shanaka and followed up with Asalanka. The spinners clearly brought India into a winning position with that spell.
Rahul & Pandya combine well to steady India’s ship
Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya put on a good fight. Iyer scored a steady 28 from 33 before getting a full delivery from Rajitha off which he was trapped in front of the stumps. Rahul and Hardik brought India back into the game with a partnership of 75 runs. Hardik Pandya nicked the ball in the hands of Mendis and got out on 36(53).
KL Rahul completed his 12th half-century and made sure India got home. It was a great knock by KL on such a wicket where players struggled to score runs. The 75-run stand between Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul was the difference between India and Sri Lanka.
There are lots of positives for India from these two games. However, there are still some questions to be answered. There are lots of players in and around the team and India should come up with a stable playing 11 for World Cup 2023.
This time the World Cup is going to take place in India. So far India are doing well in winning all the bilaterals but this time they must win a trophy as well. There are lots of boxes that need to be ticked before the World Cup. It is a good time to find answers in dead rubbers like the next ODI which will be held on January 15 at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.
On the other hand, there are some serious concerns for Sri Lanka. They will really look to improve their performance and end the series on a positive note.