Internet Desk: Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni guided India to the win as a brilliant individual performance from Akila Dananjaya went to vain. The victory by 3 wickets via D/L method gives India a 2-0 lead in the ongoing 5 match ODI series against hosts Sri Lanka at Pallekele today. Batting first after losing the toss Sri Lanka put up a modest total of 236 runs.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan fired India to a good start as they scored 54 and 49 respectively. However a middle order failure saw India almost losing the game had the Indian reins were not held by Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Comfortable at a point when 109-0, the men in blue were suddenly reduced to 131-7 as they lost 7 crucial wickets in just 22 runs. The eight wicket partnership of 100 runs from former skipper MS Dhoni and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar guided India to a win. Set to chase a target of 237, the target was cut short to 231 from 47 overs due to interruption from the rain.
Rohit and Dhawan both gave the nation a good start with boundaries and over boundaries, however the middle order fell like a pack of cards as KL Rahul, skipper Kohli, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandeya scored in single digits.
MS Dhoni 45* and Bhuvneshwar 53* guided home with a special innings.
The star performer for the Lankans was Akila Dananjaya who scalped 6 important wickets by giving away 54 runs. In the 18th over of the Indian innings he took three wickets in that single over.
Earlier after winning the toss India skipper Virat Kohli choose to bowl first. Sri Lanka lost their first wicket, when Dickwella gave a catch to Shikhar Dhawan from Jasprit Bumrah’s delivery. The hosts kept losing wickets as Gunathilaka (19), Kusal Mendis (19), Upul Tharanga (9) and Angelo Mathews (20) failed to play big knock against a very good Indian bowling line-up. During Sri Lankan innings, former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni equaled legendary Sri Lankan wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara’s record for most stumpings in ODI cricket. Sri Lanka’s star opener Gunathilaka was Dhoni’s 99th stumping in limited-overs cricket. Sangakkara created this record by playing 404 ODIs, while Dhoni has touched the same feat with playing only 298 ODIs in comparison.
At one stage the hosts were 121 for 5 after the dismissal of Angelo Mathews. After that, Milinda Siriwardana (58), Chamara Kapugedera (40) hold the innings together and shared a crucial 91-run partnership for the sixth wicket. When both the players were looking dangerous, star Indian bowler and death over specialist Jasprit Bumrah took the wicket of Milinda Siriwardana to give the visitors a much needed break through. Chamara Kapugedera too didn’t last long as he got out on Bumrah’s next over.