Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar mastermind Pallekele miracle

Friday, 25 Aug, 2017

Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah took four wickets to help India restrict Sri Lanka to a modest 236 for eight in the second one-day global on Thursday.

Mahela Jayawardene heaped praise on Virat Kohli after India's emphatic win over Sri Lanka in the first ODI of the series. In the chase, they managed only a solitary wicket via a runout as India raced to victory in just 28.5 overs.

India outplayed Sri Lanka in the Test series and the first ODI, winning with ridiculous ease.

Virat Kohli's luck with the coin continued and he took full advantage of it, inviting Sri Lanka to bat in conditions he thought would be less conducive to strokeplay.

Dhoni, though, was ably supported by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. "We were in a good position at one stage in the first ODI but unfortunately we collapsed but I believe as a team we can do better than that, especially in our batting". "Initially it was a bit hard to read him from the hand but later on when I played him for 10-15 balls I could read his variations from the hand", said Bhuvneshwar at the post-match press conference.

He dealt two more blows to leave India reeling on 131-7 when Dhoni reprised his finisher's role and Kumar proved a ideal foil as they bailed out India with a century partnership.

For India, pacer Jasprit Bumrah scalped four wickets while leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal took two.

"This coming season gives us an opportunity to define roles for players and give them time to execute it so that for the World Cup, we know exactly what one player needs to do in certain situations", Kohli told mediapersons ahead of second ODI.

Chasing 231 for victory, the Men in Blue were cruising with a 100 run opening partnership between Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Siriwardana, spinner Akila Dananjaya and seamer Dushmantha Chameera were recalled.

Off-spinner Kedar Jadhav then struck twice to get two important wickets of Dickwella and Tharanga, who made 13.

While Siriwardana scored 58 from 58 balls, Kapugedera was dismissed at 40. Today's match is to be played at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

There has been questions raised about Sri Lanka's team selection policies.

If it's some consolation, although Sri Lanka would pay no heed right now, two of the hosts' three new inductees for this game (Dananjaya and Milinda Siriwardana) so almost contributed to a series-levelling win.