By: Tarish Bhatt
A straight-forward win for India almost turned into a batting disaster in Pallekele. But India’s old war-horse, MS Dhoni showed his finishing skills once again. He stretched India’s lead to 2-0 in the five-match series.
The Indians got a perfect start in the chase of 231 (D/L Method). Their openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma added 109 runs. But soon India found themselves reeling at 131-7, courtesy a deadly spell from Akila Dananjaya.
Dananjaya ripped through India’s decorated middle-order, featuring captain Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. The Indians had no answers of his variations, and ended by taking six wickets for his side.
After losing seven wickets in quick successions, India pinned their hopes on MS Dhoni. The former Indian captain played his trademark innings. He also made an unbeaten 100 runs stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Dhoni never put a foot wrong during his stay in the middle. He remained calm and composed and ensured that the visitors ended up on the winning side. Bhuvi, meanwhile, made his maiden ODI fifty for India.
“Quite an exciting game of cricket, fans and players entertained. Good to come through eventually,” a relived Kohli said. “Two 100-run partnerships in a chase of 230 with seven wickets, that’s quite bizarre.”