Guwahati: Deepak Chahar played one of the most memorable knocks to steer India to a thrilling win over Sri Lanka in the second ODI here at the R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday.
Chahar (69*) smashed a gusty fifty and stitched an unbeaten 84-run stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (19*) to take India home after the visitors were reduced to 193/7 in the second ODI. India were down and almost out in their chase but Chahar made sure India get home in the final over.
India needed 16 runs to win in the last three overs and the duo ensured the visitors do not lose any wickets and then guided the Shikhar Dhawan-led side to win with five balls to spare. With this victory, India have taken an unassailable 2-0 series lead.
Chasing 276, India got off to flying start but were soon put on the backfoot as opener Prithvi Shaw and Ishan Kishan departed in quick successions to reduce visitors at 39/2.
Skipper Shikhar Dhawan and Manish Pandey stitched a 26-run stand but Wanindu Hasaranga trapped the opening batsman in front of the stumps in the 12th over.
India breath on short partnerships as Suryakumar Yadav gave the visitors a glimmer of hope. However, the right-handed batsman departed after scoring his half-century as India got reduced to 160/6.
After losing Hardik and Krunal Pandya India were in a spot of bother before Deepak Chahar revived the visitors’ innings.
Chahar slammed a magnificent fifty and took India close to the target along with vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Chahar and Bhuvneshwar then did the honours as India sealed the series 2-0 with one match to go.
Earlier opting to bat first, Charith Asalanka (65) and Chamika Karunaratne (44*) played fighting knocks as Sri Lanka scored 275/9 in the allotted 50 overs.
Sri Lanka was in a spot of bother at 194/6 before Asalanka’s gutsy fifty and Karunaratne’s late cameo took the hosts over the 250-run mark. For India, Deepak Chahar backed Chahal and Bhuvneshwar as he scalped two wickets.
Sri Lanka began well as they scored 59 in the first 10 overs. Openers Minod Bhanuka (36) and Avishka Fernando (50) got Sri Lanka off to a solid start.
However, twin strikes from Yuzvendra Chahal in the 14th over put the hosts on the backfoot.
Chahal got the wickets of opener Bhanuka and Bhanuka Rajapakasa in back-to-back deliveries to put India in the driver’s seat.
Fernando steadied the innings as the hosts went past the hundred-run mark, but Bhuvneshwar sent him back as soon as the batsman completed his fifty.
Two overs later Deepak Chahar struck for India as Dhananjaya de Silva failed to convert his good start into a big score as Sri Lanka got reduced to 134/4.
Every time Sri Lanka steadied the ship a wicket fell as Chahar and Chahal kept the length tight.
Sri Lanka was on 194/6 in the 40th over when Charith Asalanka revived the hosts’ innings.
Asalanka’s fighting fifty kept Sri Lanka ticking the scoreboard as the hosts reached 244 before he got out.
In the last two overs, Sri Lanka scored 23 runs to reach 275 despite losing two wickets in the final six balls.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 275/9 (Charith Asalanka 65; Yuzvendra Chahal 3-50) vs India 277/7 (Suryakumar Yadav 53, Deepak Chahar 69*; Wanindu Hasaranga 3-37)