KL Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav power India to 2-0 lead against Sri Lanka in ODI series
KL Rahul scored an unbeaten 64 while Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Siraj took three wickets each as India completed a challenging victory in the second ODI played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday night to complete a 2-0 series win with one game remaining against Sri Lanka. The third and final ODI will be played on Sunday, January 15, at Trivandrum.
It was a contest in which the Indian team dominated in the first half of the match while they were challenged by a spirited Sri Lankan team, when they came out to bat to chase a moderate total on Thursday night.
The Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav had an impressive return to the ODI side taking 3/51 from his 10 overs while Mohammed Siraj once again impressed with 5.4-0-30-3, as India bowled Sri Lanka out for 215 in just 39.4 overs.
For Sri Lanka, it was a day to forget despite their young batsmen Nuwanidu Fernando scoring a fine half-century making 50 from 63 balls with 6 boundaries but several of their batsmen getting starts but failing to convert them into big scores. Avishka Fernando smacked 4 boundaries to make a 17-ball 20 while Kushal Mendis, batting at number three, scored 34 from as many balls with 3 boundaries and a six.
Dhananjaya de Silva was dismissed for a first ball duck by India left-arm spinner Akshar Patel whereas Charith Asalanka (15), Sri Lanka’s fiery captain Dasun Shanaka (2) and even Wanindu Hasaranga (21) failed to trouble the scorers.
The left-arm Kuldeep Yadav was impressive with the ball in the middle overs even though he was a little bit on the expensive side with the ball. Kuldeep Yadav accounted for the likes of Dasun Shanaka, Charith Asalanka and Kusal Mendis to break the Sri Lankan middle order, as his strikes ensured that there was no fight back from the team from the island nation.
Even though Sri Lanka folded for a moderate total, they presented a strong challenge with the ball when India began their chase. After the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill got off to a confident start adding 33 runs, they both were dismissed in quick succession with Chamika Karunaratne accounting for the Indian captain for 17 while the young Shubman Gill was caught at short midwicket off Lahiru Kumara for a 12-ball 21 studded with five boundaries.
The matters became boss for India when Lahiru Kumara cleaned up Virat Kohli for four and Kasun Rajitha trapped the inform Shreyas Iyer for leg before after he made a confident 28 from 33 balls. India was struggling at 86/4 after 15 overs when the pair of KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya got together and led their recovery.
KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya added 75 runs for the fifth wicket which put India back on track for victory, which was finally completed by the pair of KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav (10*), who scored the remaining 28 runs as India completed a victory, winning by four wickets and 40 balls to spare.
Akshar Patel played a handy knock of 21 from as many balls hitting a boundary and a six while Hardik Pandya made 36 from 53 balls laced with four hits to the fence. India wicket-keeper batsman KL Rahul remained unbeaten on 64, consuming 103 balls in the process and hitting 6 boundaries.