Match report: SL v Ind – 2nd ODI
Hambantota, Jul 24: Sri Lanka thrashed India by nine wickets to square the five-match ODI series 1-1. After three-wicket hauls each from Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews helped bowl out the visitors for a modest 138, the hosts chased down the score in just 19.5 overs with T Dilshan and Upul Tharanga recording their respective half-centuries.
The match didn’t appear for a quick finish initially, though. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir each hit Isuru Udana and Lasith Malinga for a couple of boundaries respectively to get India off to 31 in the first three overs.
However, the situation changed with the introduction of Thisara Perera in the fourth over. With the wind blowing at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Perera made the most of the conditions as he picked up the wickets of Sehwag (15), Kohli (1) and Suresh Raina (1) without conceding a run in his first three overs. Angelo Mathews added to India’s woes by removing Rohit Sharma (0) between Kohli’s and Raina’s dismissal. India were 41 for four at the fall of Raina’s wicket.
Gambhir battled the crisis with a brave half-century, which included some crisp hits to the fence on the off side. But with wickets falling at regular intervals at the other end, there was not much the Indian opener could do to save the situation. Angelo Mathews picked up another couple of wickets, including MS Dhoni (11), while Malinga accounted for Irfan Pathan (6) and Gambhir (65) and brought an end to the Indian innings at 138 in the 34th over.
Needing 139 to square the series, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga sizzled from the beginning. The pair added their ninth century stand in 57 innings while being particularly severe on Umesh Yadav (4-0-38-0). Both batsmen brought up their respective half-centuries, though Dilshan (50) would be disappointed to fall to R Ashwin 20 runs short of the victory target.
Tharanga (59*), nevertheless, remained unbeaten and saw Sri Lanka through. India will look to make amends for the comprehensive loss when the two teams meet in Colombo on July 28.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 139/1 in 19.5 overs (Upul Tharanga 59*, Tillakaratne Dilshan 50, R Ashwin 1/18) beat India 138/10 in 33.3 overs (Gautam Gambhir 65, Thisara Perera 3/19, Angelo Mathews 3/14) by nine wickets
Man-of-the-Match: Thisara Perera for claiming three big wickets at the top of the Indian innings and ending with figures of three for 19