Sri Lanka with loss in it’s first ODI match, started well in 2nd ODI and had a good start with Gunathilaka playing the sheet anchor role and Niroshan Dickwella going after the bowlers. They succeeded too in their plans until Bumrah took the better of Dickwella. Sri Lanka changed the game plan completely as they didn’t wanted to falter like they did in Dambulla and therefore they decided to play out 50 overs and see how far they can reach. All their top order players got start except captain Tharanga. However, all after eating up too many deliveries got out leaving the late middle order in doldrums. Milinda Sriwardana and Chamara Kapugedara who are making a comeback made the full use of this opportunity as they ensured that Sri Lanka play their full quota of 50 overs and post a respectable total. However 236 at the innings break didn’t look competitive though.
A rain show down cut-short the match and it was reduced to 47 overs game with a target of 231. India had the best possible start with their first wicket of Rohit Sharma falling at 109-1 in 15.3 overs. What happened after that was something beyond our expectation. Sri Lanka’s mystery man Akila Dananjaya who bowled googly made life miserable for the Indian middle order batsman as they faltered like rank pins. India by the time it reached 131 runs it lost 6 wickets that were taken by off-break bowler Dananjaya. What we saw then was a vintage Dhoni at his very best and a patient and well-crafted half century from Bhuvneshwar Kumar which took India to a lead of 2 – 0 lead in the series. However, the changing and chopping that India made with their batting order may not have worked, but we cannot predict what could happen in cricket in the next minute. Questions were raised on Dhoni’s future before the series and he showed what he can bring to the table. Bhuveshnawar half century was arguably of the highest class. Mr. Cool -Dhoni made sure that India don’t falter anymore and took India to winning stands with a comfortable 3 wickets win in the end. However hero of the match has to be Akila Dananjaya for his out raging performance and his line and length bowling. A question which every Sri lankan will be asking from today, where was he hiding all these days? He wrote a script of his own. He put his side on the driver’s seat; however, Dhoni has some other plans at the end. India on total basis will have a lot to learn from this series and Sri Lanka will take back some positivity out of this match as well.
Here is the scoreboard of India Vs Srilanka 2nd ODI, 24-08-2017
Article by Navneet.