India levelled the three-match ODI series riding on Rohit Sharma’s mesmerizing unbeaten knock of 208, which helped India post a mammoth target of 393 in Mohali. Sri Lanka, in reply, could only muster a paltry total of 251 after the Indian bowlers kept claiming wickets at regular intervals.
India decided to hand all-rounder Washington Sundar his debut in place of Kuldeep Yadav as the hosts came into the second ODI with a lengthy batting order. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, named an unchanged side for the game as they eyed to seal the series in Mohali.
Rohit-Shikhar provide an assuring start
After a horrendous start in the last game in Dharamsala, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan ensured that India didn’t stand on shaky grounds right from the start again. The dampened Mohali wicket didn’t have lateral movement that the Indian batsman had succumbed to in the last game which meant that the Sri Lankan bowlers were no longer as dangerous and Dhawan made sure that the crowd had knowledge of it when he sent last game’s tormentor, Suranga Lakmal, for a beautiful boundary through extra cover and mid-off on the very first ball. After a slow and safe start, that saw India reaching 33/0 in the first 10 overs, the duo put their foot on the pedal. Dhawan played the aggressor’s role clinching his 23rd ODI fifty while Rohit showed an uncharacteristically subdued self to take India past the 100-run mark in the 20th over. Sri Lanka got their lucky break in the 21st over, when an adventurous Dhawan mistimed Sachith Pathirana’s delivery and was caught by Lahiru Thirimanne at short mid-wicket. Shreyas Iyer, who joined Rohit at the crease, steadied the ship and guided India to 133/1 at the halfway point of the innings.
Shreyas Iyer plays sidekick to Rohit Sharma’s awe-inspiring innings
After failing to take his chance in the last game, Iyer knew that the batting-friendly strip was a glorious chance to make himself a regular
Bumrah, Pandya give India the perfect start
With a humongous target for Sri Lanka to chase, the Indian bowlers were hardly under pressure. And, it wasn’t the strike bowlers who drew the first blood but Hardik Pandya, who sent Upul Tharanga packing in the fourth over itself, reducing Sri Lanka to 16/1. It was a tame dismissal that saw the opener mis-hitting Pandya’s cutter into Dinesh Karthik’s hands at cover. Thiramanne, who came in after the dismissal, tried to steady things in the middle but Bumrah made sure Sri Lanka never got into any sort of rhythm sending Gunathilaka packing for just 16 off 19 balls. With Sri Lanka looking dead and buried, in came Angelo Mathews, who along with Thirmanne, tried to consolidate the innings. However,
Mathew’s ton fails to add any respectability to Sri Lanka’s total
With Mathews happy to just rotate the strike, it was Gunaratne who took the responsibility of upping the run-rate as the visitors needed more than 11
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