Deepak Chahar stars in India's stunning jailbreak
Deepak Chahar starred in a stunning win for India on Tuesday (July 20) that helped them clinch the ODI series against Sri Lanka in Colombo. The hosts were in total control of the game in the second half and finally had an opportunity to end their misery with a vital win when India were reeling at 193/7, needing another 83 to win. However, Chahar showed tremendous steel in the company of fellow swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the duo guided India to a famous win to take an unassailable 2-0 lead.
India made a horror start to the run chase when they lost the two young guns from the top order early. Prithvi Shaw and Ishan Kishan killed the chase inside 15 overs on Sunday but combined to make only 13 tonight. Shaw hit a hat-trick of boundaries to get off the mark in typical fashion but Sri Lanka introduced spin very early to get rid of him. Wanindu Hasaranga bowled a googly and the young batsman failed to read it and ended up losing his offstump. Kishan then departed for a duck when he dragged a delivery from Kasun Rajitha onto his stumps.
Shikhar Dhawan was in his elements again despite the two early wickets but Hasaranga came back to dismiss the Indian skipper. Initially adjudged not out after getting rapped on the pads, Sri Lanka took an excellent review to reverse the decision. Manish Pandey, who also looked in great rhythm striking at more than 100, had to walk back to the pavilion as a result of an unlucky run out. Sri Lanka then took total control of the game when Hardik Pandya played a length delivery with hard hands to chip one straight to midwicket to fall for a duck in tame fashion. At that point in time, India still needed 160 runs to win with half the side already back in the pavilion.
Suryakumar Yadav continued to fight though at the other end and helped himself to a fluent fifty, playing extravagant shots all around the wicket. Krunal Pandya stuttered but managed to hang in there to get the chase back on track. However, Sri Lanka struck again with Lakshan Sandakan making a crucial breakthrough by trapping Suryakumar leg-before-wicket and a few overs later, Hasaranga castled Krunal to take Sri Lanka within touching distance to a much-needed win.
Bhuvneshwar, who had pulled off a famous win for India from a similar situation on the same shores four years ago, once again dug in deep and ensured India didn't surrender. Chahar at the other end too curbed his natural instincts with the duo clearly appearing to take the game deep. Finally, he broke the shackles with a massive six off Sandakan in the 43rd over and followed it up with two more boundaries in the next over to not only get to his fifty but also bring the required rate below six.
The two batters were watchful enough to play out Hasaranga's final two overs and take their chances against the seamers at the other end. The ploy worked out to perfection with Sri Lanka running out of time to break the partnership. Some streaky boundaries added to Sri Lanka's woes and eased India's path to victory eventually as the heist was completed with five balls to spare.
Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka had Charith Asalanka and Chamika Karunaratne to thank after the duo powered them to a competitive score. At one stage, even 250 wasn't on the cards after the Indian bowlers made a very good comeback in the middle overs striking at regular intervals. Sri Lanka did get off to a good start though and showed more intent in the powerplay.
Avishka Fernando was impressive once again but it was Minod Bhanuka who did the bulk of the damage. After getting an early reprieve from Pandey, Minod fetched four boundaries in the space of eight deliveries at one point as the openers added 59 in the powerplay. Yuzvendra Chahal then gave India a much-needed breakthrough, just like he did in the first ODI, as a dangerous Minod hit one straight to Pandey at midwicket. Off the very next ball, Bhanuka Rajapaksa edged one through to the keeper after failing to judge a delivery from the legspinner that went in with the angle instead of turning back into the batsman.
The onus was then on Avishka and Dhananjaya de Silva to resurrect the innings and even though the run rate had come down as a result of the double breakthrough, Sri Lanka still needed these two batsmen to bat deep. However, Avishka, who hit Sri Lanka's first boundary in 97 deliveries at one stage, departed immediately after reaching his fifty as he mistimed a shortish delivery from Bhuvneshwar. To make matters worse, Dhananjaya didn't last long either after Avishka's departure as Chahar came back into the attack alongside Bhuvneshwar for a short burst to get rid of the right-hander with a well-disguised knuckle ball.
Big-hitters Shanaka and Hasaranga too failed to make an impact which in turn shifted the pressure on Asalanka with Sri Lanka seeking vital runs. The left-hander milked the spinners to good effect and also found some timely boundaries to bring up his maiden fifty in the format. Even though he fell with 17 balls left in the innings, Karunaratne once again landed some punches at the death like he did in the first game. Back-to-back boundaries off Chahar and Bhuvneshwar in the final two overs from his bat gave Sri Lanka a massive lift which they failed to take advantage of in the end.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 275/9 in 50 overs (Charish Asalanka 65, Avishka Fernando 50; Yuzvendra Chahal 3-50, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3-54) lost to India 277/7 in 49.1 overs (Deepak Chahar 69*, Suryakumar Yadav 53; Wanindu Hasaranga 3-37) by 3 wickets
Blog URL: https://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/118280/deepak-chahar-stars-in-indias-stunning-jailbreak
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