Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas bemoans MS Dhoni’s escape in India’s win | india vs sri lanka 2017 | Hindustan Times
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Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas bemoans MS Dhoni’s escape in India’s win

Sri Lanka’s interim chief coach, Nic Pothas, was left frustrated after MS Dhoni saw a delivery from paceman Vishwa Fernando squeeze through his legs and hit the stumps without the heavier zing bails not being dislodged

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 25, 2017 09:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Pallekele
India vs Sri Lanka,MS Dhoni,Nic Pothas
MS Dhoni (L) survived a possible dismissal before he helped India to a three-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Pallekele on Thursday.(PTI)

The Sri Lankan cricket team was left wondering what more they need to do to end their losing run after India withstood a sensational spell of spin bowling by Akila Dananjaya to win the second One-day International by three wickets on Thursday night. (HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)

Sri Lanka’s interim chief coach, Nic Pothas, was left frustrated after MS Dhoni saw a delivery from paceman Vishwa Fernando squeeze through his legs and hit the stumps without the heavier zing bails not being dislodged.

Dhoni, who was on 29, finished on 45 not out as he and No 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar (53 no) took India to victory and a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. It left Dananjaya’s 6/54 in vain.

“It’s obviously very frustrating,” Pothas said after the match. “When you aren’t winning games, it is very hard to grab the momentum back again. It is a classic isn’t it, you are trying to win and the ball goes off someone’s legs and hit the stumps and the bails don’t come off,” he added.

READ | Bhuvneshwar Kumar plays a ‘Test’ innings to bail India out in Pallekele ODI

Lack of momentum

“That is going to happen; when you try to wrest the momentum back, it is very, very difficult to get it back. Tonight’s frustrating because these are the kinds of games you want to win, you need to win. You got to be ruthless in these games. It is frustrating because you want to get over the line, (then) you get a bit more confidence, more momentum.”

Sri Lanka are under pressure from fans and former players after failing to put up a fight in the Test series, which India swept 3-0, and in the first ODI, which they lost by nine wickets.

“It’s a disappointing night. The credit obviously goes to India, which shows how much depth there is in that squad. Bhuvi played brilliantly and Dhoni did what he does best, one of the calmest characters under pressure,” Pothas said.

“It is never good to lose, but as they say, it is how you lose. On the positive side, I’m very, very happy for him (Dhananjaya). It’s not the worst honeymoon for him to have.”

The 23-year-old got married on Wednesday before rushing back to join the team late in the night.

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

Tharanga’s blunder

Sri Lanka’s new ODI skipper, Upul Tharanga, seemed to have made a tactical blunder after Dananjaya had captured six wickets in the space of 20 deliveries to reduce India to 131/7 in 21.4 overs. India were set 231 to win in 47 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method after a rain delay.

Dananjaya was bowling with great rhythm, but Tharanga removed him with two overs left to bowl. The Sri Lankan pacers, particularly Lasith Malinga, did not show discipline, helping Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar rebuild the innings.

Asked whether it was a mistake to hold back Dananjaya till it was too late, Pothas said: “Ask the captain. He would have kept him back, if he needs to take a wicket in the end.”

First Published: Aug 25, 2017 09:48 IST