At present, undeniably, India has one of the strongest back up. A series win without Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah is a testimony of it. Even though a deflated Sri Lankan batsman put on a much-improved effort, it wasn’t enough for them to save their 10th consecutive defeat against India and the ninth successive series loss against them.
In pursuit of a total higher than the last game, India’s top five suffered early failure. But, the haunts of 2017 Pallekele were looming around when Deepak Chahar started to build a partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Inevitably, the pair took India over the line with some sensible batting and handed them their fifth consecutive series win against the hosts in their backyard. There were few noteworthy stats from the second ODI, here are a list of few:
A No-ball after ages
After 880.5 overs or 5285 balls, Bhuvneshwar bowled a no-ball in international cricket. In between his no-balls, Bhuvneshwar had bowled in 115 innings, 17 in Tests, 63 in ODIs and 35 in T20Is. The last instance of him bowling a no-ball was against South Africa in Chennai in October 2015, five years and 271 days ago.
India’s bowling agony in Powerplay
In ODIs since 2020, India’s bowling agony in the first Powerplay is a well-known fact. They have bagged only seven wickets at an average of 122.1 and a bowling strike rate of 120.1. The agony doesn’t end here. In the second ODI, they went wicketless for the ninth time in 14 innings in this phase. To add more, while bowling first, this was the fifth consecutive innings in which Indian bowlers failed to bag a wicket.
Yet another lower-order flourish
Not for the first time India’s lower-order has been a pain on the shoulders of Sri Lanka. In 2017, against the same opponents in Pallekele, India’s last four wickets had put on 110 runs to win a chase. Today, they scored seven more runs than what they did in 2017. The 117 runs scored by wickets 7-10 in this match is the third highest for India in a successful chase.
A partnership to cherish
At the departure of Krunal Pandya in the 36th over, India were at 193 and still needing 83 runs to win. Bhuvneshwar who was the match winner in the 2017 contest between the two, was at the crease alongside Chahar. Both were very sensible in milking runs and fetching the odd boundary. They put an unbeaten 84-run partnership for the eighth wicket to hand India a win. This was the second highest partnership for any wicket eight or lower for India in a successful chase. The unbeaten 100-run partnership between MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar in 2017 in Pallekele remains at top.
Deepak Chahar’s allround performance
In the first innings, Chahar was the bowler who put the brakes on when Sri Lanka were looking to score by removing Dhananjaya de Silva and Wanindu Hasaranga. With the bat in hand, Chahar was no less. He took his time in the middle and then accelerated. The best part about his batting was, he chose the right bowlers to attack. That is the reason why he scored an unbeaten score of 69 to hand India a win. His score of 69* is the fourth-highest score by a number eight or lower batsmen in a successful chase. Also, he became the fifth Indian tail-ender to hit a fifty and bag two wickets in an ODI.
This was also India's 93rd ODI victory against Sri Lanka, which is most by a team over an opponent. They have overtaken Australia's 92 wins over New Zealand and Pakistan's 92 wins over Sri Lanka.