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Akila Dananjaya bamboozles India in Pallekele ODI but doesn’t have last laugh

Akila Dananjaya captured six wickets in 20 deliveries to leave India, one moment cruising to another easy win, hurtling towards defeat. But MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India recover.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 25, 2017 00:28 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Pallekele
India vs Sri Lanka,Akila Dananjaya,Indian Cricket Team
Akila Dananjaya picked six wickets but MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 100*-run stand helped India defeat Sri Lanka in the second ODI.(PTI)

Akila Dananjaya added his name to Sri Lanka’s list of unorthodox bowlers with a stunning display that left Indian batsmen reeling in the second One-day International at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

The 23-year-old captured six wickets in 20 deliveries to leave India, one moment cruising to another easy win, hurtling towards defeat. He eventually finished with six fo 54 as India fought back to win by three wickets.

READ | India vs Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, full cricket score: MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar clinch thriller at Pallekele

Dananjaya was drafted into the side as one of three changes by a Sri Lankan team management desperate to arrest the slide in India’s current tour, and responded brilliantly. Interestingly, he got married on Wednesday and joined the team late in the night.

The bowler dishes out a variety of off-break, leg-break and googly, and the Indian batsmen were done in mainly by his well-controlled googly. India, 103 for none chasing 231 in 47 overs, were reduced to 131 for seven at one stage.

Rohit Sharma (lbw) was beaten by a leg-break while Kedar Jadhav (bowled), Virat Kohli (bowled) and KL Rahul (bowled) were all cleaned by by googlies in a sensational 18th over of the innings.

READ | MS Dhoni equals record for stumpings in Pallekele ODI vs Sri Lanka

Dananjaya completed his maiden ODI five-wicket haul when he had all-rounder Hardik Pandya stumped for a duck, also off a googly as the batsman tried to get to the pitch of the ball.

The versatile bowler was a controversial pick for Sri Lanka’s 2012 World Cup, after being recommended by skipper Mahela Jayawardene despite not having played any professional cricket. However, he was subsequently ignored, which explains his playing only three ODIs in all until Thursday.

READ | Virat Kohli open to transition talk with Sri Lanka, but only after series

It took Mahendra Singh Dhoni (45 not out), Dananjaya’s skipper at Chennai Super Kings, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (53 no) and their calibrated approach to give the latter more strike to finally ensure India ended on the winnings side, but only after they were given a mighty scare.

First Published: Aug 25, 2017 00:05 IST