Pallekele: Bhuvneshwar Kumar dug deep to notch-up his maiden half-century in ODI cricket, to guide India to a nail-biting victory against Sri Lanka, in Pallekele, on Thursday.
This victory puts the visitors 2-0 up in the five-match ODI series.
India were dominant throughout the game, as Jasprit Bumrah notched up a brilliant bowling effort, with figures of 4-43. His effort, along with convincing performances from Yuzvendra Chahal (2-43), Hardik Pandya (1-24) and Axar Patel (1-30), helped India restrict Sri Lanka to 236-8, after a bit of a middle-order renaissance by Milinda Siriwardana (58) and Chamara Kapugedera (40).
India got off to a flying start with openers Rohit Sharma (54) and Shikhar Dhawan (49) firing on all cylinders. Indeed, at 109-0from 15.2 overs, they looked like they were cruising to victory.
However, an inspired bowling spell by Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dhananjaya meant that rendered the Indian middle order completely helpless, as the likes of KL Rahul (4), Kedar Jadhav (1), Virat Kohli (4), Hardik Pandya (0) and Axar Patel (6) departed in quick succession.
Dhananjaya enjoyed what was arguably the best spell of his nascent cricketing career, notching up figures of 6-54.
However, his efforts were to be in vain, as former India cap[tain MS Dhoni came to the rescue, along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who gave a fine exhibition of resilient batting, followed by some clean hitting, to guide India to the 2-0 series lead.
Sri Lanka 236-8 from 50 overs. (Milinda Siriwardana 58, Chamara Kapugedera 40; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-43, Yuzvendra Chahal 2-43).
India 231-7 from 44.2 overs. (Rohit Sharma 54, Shikhar Dhawan 49; Akila Dhananjaya 6-54, Milinda Siriwardana 1-39)
India 231-7 from 44.2 overs
And that's the end of that! Viswa Fernando hands India the win, with a wide outside the leg stump. That has been a bit of a theme for Sri Lanka tonight. They have bowled as many as 14 wides today. This puts India 2-0 up in the series.
India 229-7 from 44 overs
Sri Lanka put fielders around Bhuvi's bat, to stop the Indian batsman from reaching his maiden 50. However, he comfortably negotiates Dhananjaya, to pick up two quick runs. This has been a fine innings by the India no. 9.
India 201-7 from 40 overs
Its coming right down to the wire, as Sri Lanka have brought Akila Dhananjaya back into the attack. However, he bowls two short balls in that over, both of which are smacked to the fence by Bhuvi. That would ease a lot of the pressure from India's shoulders. Also, Dhananjaya has just one over left, now.
India 174-7 from 35 overs
That was close! Playing Vishwa Fernando's ball Dhoni played thge ball onto his stumps but luckily for him, the bails did not get dislodged.
Bhuvaneshwar is showing some resilient batting, out there. It has not been easy for him, by any stretch of imagination. He has played almost 50 balls by now, and has barely managed to cross the 10-run mark. However, he has barely made any mistakes, consolidating their position after the Dhananjaya's wickets.
India 162-7 from 30 overs
Things have calmed down since about 10 overs ago. Both sides are playing some cautious cricket, now. Although India have plenty of balls remaining, the fact that they are seven-down, has made them shift to a cautious approach. MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have done well to fend off the Sri Lanka bowlers over the last few overs, especially after Dhananjaya was taken off. While India need Dhoni to guide them through to the end, Sri Lanka need three wickets from somewhere. Dhananjaya has just two overs left (if he bwols 10 overs). However, Malinga has been wayward, bowling three wides in the last over. Sri Lanka cannot afford these extras right now.
India 140-7 from 25 overs
Oh, what a turnaround this is! For the first time in the match, the Sri Lankans are right on top. India only have three wickets in hand, but they have plenty of balls to spare, to score the 91 remaining runs. MS Dhoni's finishing prowess will be crucial to the visitors, if they want to win this game.
India 131-7 from 21.5 overs
WICKET! Its like Test cricket in coloured pajamas, here. Dhananjyay has three players around the bat, and that has worked perfectly against Axar, who first almost edged it to leg slip, and then got trapped plumb in front of the wicket.
India 121-6 from 19 overs
WICKET! Its absolutely mental out there! Dhananjaya is slicing through the Indian batting order like a hot knife through butter! Hardik Pandya dances down the track, but, like his teammates, misses the ball. Dickwella has an easy job of collecting the ball and whipping off the bails.
India 119-5 from 17.5 overs
WICKET! Dhananjaya is on fire, tonight! Yet another batsnam, KL Rahul this time, fails to meet his delivery, which goes on to crash into the stumps. India have suddenly slipped from a commanding position to being in deep, deep trouble.
India 118-3 from 17.3 overs
WICKET! Its simply amazing how one wicket can change the tide. Another one bites the dust, and this time, its Virat Kohli. Dhananjaya hurled it in with a lot of flight, which the India captain clearly missed, as he attempted an off drive. Clean bowled!
India 118-3 from 17.1 overs
WICKET! The Sri Lankans are right back into this game. Jadhav tried to work Dhananjaya's delivery on the off side, but he failed to make contact with the ball, which crashed into his stumps.
India 113-2 from 16.3 overs
WICKET! Another one departs! Shikhar Dhawan, who was just one short of his half century, tried to play it onto the on-side, but only managed ot lob it in the air, as Angelo Mathews did well to take a diving catch at square-leg.
India 109-1 from 15.3 overs
WICKET! Sri Lanka finally have the wicket that they so desired. Rohit went for the sweep, but missed the turn on the ball, which kept low, hitting him plumb in front of the stumps. The Indians did go for a DRS referral, but replays showed that there was no edge, and ball tracking suggested that it would have gone on to hit the middle and off stump.
India 102-0 from 15 overs
Rohit Sharma has played a brilliant innings, as he raced his way to the 32nd ODI half century of his career.
India 68-0 from 10 overs
The Indians do not look like they are in any mood to relent. Both Rohit and Dhawan are smashing the Lankan bowlers all around the park. The total looks very small right now. Sri Lanka desperately need their breakthrough.
India 36-0 from 5 overs
India have gotten off to a flying start, here. Rohit Sharma is the one carrying thee attack to the bowlers, while Dhawan is playing the sheet anchor role. The Lankan bowlers need to get an early wicket, in order to stop India from running away with the match.
India 6-0 from 1 over
Not a good start for Malinga. Got smacked to the fence by Rohit, and was also a bit wayward with his line and length.
Play will restart in a bit. India will have to play a rain-truncated innings of 47 overs, with their target reduced to 231. Required run rate: 4.91.
We have received update that the covers are being removed, as the rain has stopped now.
UPDATE: The covers are coming off now. Stay tuned for further updates #SLvIND— BCCI (@BCCI) August 24, 2017
The covers have come on in the pitch as it seems to be drizzling a little bit.So, the start of Indian innings is going to be delayed by a bit.
Sri Lanka 236-8 from 50 overs
With that, Sri Lanka close-off their innings at 236-8 from their quota of 50 overs. While it is certainly not the kind of total that they would have liked to set for India, it is certainly a competitive target that they have set the hosts, keeping in mind the collapse of their top order.
Milinda Siriwardana and Chamara Kapugedera provided some resistance lower down the order, to keep the rampant Indian bowlers at bay.
However, Jasprit Bumrah showed a lot of class with his pace bowling, as he picked up half of the Sri Lankan wickets, ending with figures of 4-43.
Although it does not seem like too high a total for the famed Indian batting lineup, the pitch has shown a few demons, especially for the spinners, and that is something that could trouble the visitors.
Sri Lanka: 236-8 from 50 overs (Milinda Siriwardana 58, Chamara Kapugedera 40; Jasprit Bumrah 4-43).
India need 237 runs to win from 50 overs at 4.74 runs per over.
Sri Lanka 230-8 from 48.2 overs
WICKET! They're falling like a pack of cards, now. Dananjaya goes for the big slog, but only manages to top-edge it into the sky. Axar took a good catch in the deep.
Sri Lanka 221-6 from 47 overs
WICKET! Bumrah shows why he's the King of the death overs. His yorkers have been inch-perfect; a you-miss-and-I-hit tactic that has worked to perfection, in this case. Kapugedera tried to make some room outside off and dig it out, but he missed the ball completely, as it crashed into the stumps.
Sri Lanka 212-6 from 45 overs
WICKET! Brilliant bowling by Bumrah. Bowled four straight off-cutters, as Siriwardana tried to slic ethe last one. However, he only managed to lob it up to Rohit Sharma at mid-off
Sri Lanka 190-5 from 42 overs
Siriwardana has played a stellar innings amidst all the adversity, here. While most of the big guns have already been dismissed, 31-year-old has done well to stick to the crease, while launching Lanka's counter attack on the Indians.
Sri Lanka 179-5 from 40 overs
Siriwardana and Kapugedera have stabilised the situation for the last few overs, as the Lankans edge closer to the slog overs. However, their run rate has been terribly low, and they need to u[ the ante, if they hope to put a challenging total on board.
Sri Lanka 154-5 from 35 overs
Its very slow going for Sri Lanka right now. They have lost the top half of their batting order, while having more than 15 overs still left to go, in their innings. It will be interesting to see whether Siriwardana and Kapugedera will be able to fend off the Indian bowlers till the 50-over mark.
Sri Lanka 125-5 from 30 overs
The Lankans are staring down the barrel of yet another disappointing match, this series. The Indian bowlers are running riot in the match, removing the top five Sri Lankan batters.
Sri Lanka 121-5 from 28.3 overs
WICKET! India have bagged the big fish. Much like Mendis before him, Mathews also tried to sweep Axar on the leg side. However, he missed the line of the ball, which went on to strike him on the pads. Again, that looked plumb.
Sri Lanka 108-4 from 25 overs
Yuzvendra Chahal is on fire. The Lankan batters are finding it difficult to read his varying spin, pace, and bounce. Four wickets, half way down the batting order is certainly not something that the Lankans would have desired. Their prospects look gloomier than the Pallekele sky, at the moment.
Sri Lanka 99-4 from 23.2 overs
WICKET! Yuzvendra Chahal is spinning his yarn around the Sri Lanka batters. Kusal Mendis goes down low, to sweep the leggie, but the ball sneaked in below the bat and struck his pads, just above his shoe. While Mendis went for the DRS, the review showed that it was plumb. The Lankans seem to have wasted their review here.
Sri Lanka 90-3 from 20 overs
Angelo Mathews finished that last over by Pandya off with a delicious straight drive, for a boundary in front of the sight screen. However, its been pretty slow going for the Lankans after losing their first three wickets. Even Yuzvendra Chahal is bowling the tight overs right now, to build more pressure on the hosts.
Sri Lanka 81-3 from 16 overs
WICKET! The home side is in deep trouble right now! Pandya's off-cutter took a slight outside edge off Tharanga's bat, as the ball flew to Virat Kohli at first slip. The Indian bowlers have certainly played themselves into a commanding position.
Sri Lanka 70-2 from 14.1 overs
WICKET! Gunathilaka dances down the track but fails to get to the pitch of Chahal's delivery. The ball took a bit of extra bounce off the pitch, which surprised both the batsman and the keeper. However, Dhoni, after fumbling it, got hold of the ball in time to whip off the bails.
Sri Lanka 52-1 from 10 overs
The match is evenly poised right now. The Indians will be content with the early breakthrough that Jasprit Bumrah got them, while the Lankans have not been fazed by Dickwella's wicket as the continue scoring at a steady rate.
Sri Lanka 41-1 from 7.4 overs
WICKET! Dickwella completely failed to read the change in pace of the slower ball. He tried to make room outside off, but Bumrah followed him with the ball, cramping him for room, as he only managed to lob it to the leg side, where Dhawan took a well-timed catch on the jump.
Sri Lanka 28-0 from 5 overs
The Sri Lanka batters have gotten off to a steady start, with Dickwella and Gunathilaka negotiating the early exchanges.
Toss: Virat Kohli wins the toss and elects to field first.
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Niroshan Dickwella(w), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga(c), Angelo Mathews, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Vishwa Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Lokesh Rahul, MS Dhoni(w), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
Pallekele: Team India will look to continue their dominance against Sri Lanka when they take on hosts Sri Lanka in the 2nd ODI here on Thursday. With Virat Kohli's men securing a one-sided 3-0 victory in the Test series, the Lankans failed to prove any sort of fight in the 1st ODI as Virat Kohli’s men battered the opposition by 9 wickets.
Disappointed by the team’s toothless fight against the opposition, the Sri Lankan supporters gathered the team bus, with chants to bring back the brand of cricket the Lions have been known for. Chief coach Nic Pothas even pointed out that ‘too many cooks’ has lead to the home team’s dreary performance, indirectly hinting at the interference from team manager Asanka Gurusinha.
Continuing his fine form from in the Test series after emerging as the leading run-scorer, Shikhar Dhawan plummed another century alongside Indian skipper Virat Kohli who struck an unbeaten 82. In the first innings, the Indian spinners bundled out Upul Tharanga’s men for 216 after an impressive show from the Indian spinners.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (captain), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur....