India vs Sri Lanka: MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar clinch thriller at Pallekele

Akila Dananjaya triggered a stunning batting collapse but MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar put together a 100-run partnership to take India home in the second ODI at Pallekele.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 25, 2017 00:25 IST
Hindustan Times, Pallekele
India vs Sri Lanka,IND vs SL,2nd ODI
MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar guided India to a win after Akila Dananjaya triggered a wobble in the middle order. (PTI)

Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya triggered a stunning batting collapse before India recovered to win the second ODI at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

The diminutive spinner wrecked the innings, capturing six wickets in the space of 20 deliveries to leave India, chasing a revised target of 231 off 47 over after a rain delay, in disarray.

India were reduced to 131 for seven after Dananjaya’s triple strike in an over before Mahendra Singh Dhoni (45 no) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (53 no) put on a 100-run eighth wicket partnership to take the team to a tense three-wicket win for a 2-0 series lead.

Dananjaya, who bowls a mix of off-spin, straighter ones, leg-breaks and googlies in an island famous for its unorthodox bowlers, stole the thunder, flummoxing the Indian batsmen mainly with his googly. He finished with a career-best 6/54.

India reached 231 for 7 in 44.2 overs.

Opener Rohit Sharma (54) hit his fastest ODI half-century off 43 balls and with Shikhar Dhawan (49) had raised 109 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 236/8 when Dananjaya, who came on in the 12th over, struck.

Dananjaya first trapped Rohit Sharma with a leg-break. He claimed five of his first six wickets bowled or leg before. Sri Lankan fans, dismayed by their team’s poor run, erupted in joy as the diminutive spinner took off after each strike chased by delirious teammates.

The Indian collapse began after skipper Virat Kohli, deciding to give later batsmen useful batting time, sent KL Rahul at No 3. But the experiment turned into a test against an unknown kind.

Rohit Sharma was sent his way after a failed review, indicating he was done in by a leg-break. Shikhar Dhawan was gone next over, 17th of the innings, after his uppish sweep off left-arm spinner Milinda Siriwardana was caught brilliantly by Angelo Mathews at square leg.

Dananjaya broke the back of the Indian batting in nine deliveries, after claiming three in the 18th over.

He first bowled Kedar Jadhav (1) with a googly. Two balls later, he stunned skipper Virat Kohli (4) with another pefect googly that went between bat and pad to hit the stumps.

India, who had faced little challenge all tour, showed some panic. And two balls later, KL Rahul too was bowled off a googly. It was like how Indian batsmen were caught out by Ajantha Mendis almost a decade ago.

Hardik Pandiya was stumped next, also beaten by a googly, while Axar Patel was trapped by a straighter one. India were 131 for seven off 21.4 overs.

Dhoni, who must have faced Dananjaya in the Chennai Super Kings nets, picked him better. And once he was off the attack after bowling eight overs, Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar settled down to take India past 200.

With both batsmen set, and Danajaya looking tired coming on to bowl his last two overs, the battle was settled.

BUMRAH SHOW

India seemed to script a similar win to the nine-wicket effort in Dambulla when pacer Jasprit Bumrah claimed 4/43 and leg-spinner Yuzhvendra Chahal two for 43 after Virat Kohli won his fifth toss in a row, electing to bowl.

Sri Lanka’s set openers Niroshan Dickwella (31) and Dhanushka Gunathilaka (19) fell to Bumrah and Chahal respectively to undermine their batting. They owed the total to Milinda Siriwardana, who top-scored with 58 (58 b, 2x4, 1x6). He was one of the three changes made in the side, Dananjaya and pacer Dushmantha Chameera being the others.

First Published: Aug 24, 2017 15:05 IST