Despite a gallant century by former captain Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka
went down to India in the second ODI by 141 runs in the face of Rohit
Sharma’s double century at Mohali on Wednesday. Sharma’s 208 off
153 balls which was a record third and his second against Sri Lanka,
took the game away from Thisara Perera’s charges. Sri Lanka replied
with 251 for 8 in 50 overs with Mathews unbeaten on 111 after India
had piled up 392 for 4 in 50 overs. Suranga Lakmal was on 11.
Sri Lanka went in to the second of three ODIs in quest of a much sought
win that would have clinched the series for the islanders in the wake of
having brought down mighty India to its feet in the opener. Skipper
Thisara Perera’s gamble of winning the toss and putting India to bat,
did not pay dividends.
Sri Lanka lost the way losing both openers in the space of 30 runs. First
to go was Upul Tharanga for 7 off 14 balls playing a half hearted shot to
be caught in the close in field by Karthik off th bowling of Pandya with
the total on 15. Gunathilaka exited for 16 off 19 caught behind by
Dhoni off Bumrah and it was 30 for 2 in 7.3 overs. The advent of L:ahiru
Thirimanne saw Sri Lanka go past the 50-run mark by the 13 th over. But
with the total on 62 Thirimanne departed playing an uncalled for
reverse sweep which he got altogether wrong in deflecting the ball on
to his stumps off debutant Washington Sundar. Thirimanne made 21 off
35 deliveries striking one boundary. However, Mathews stayed
composed batting at No.4 in braving the odds as wickets fell around to
remain unbeaten on 110 off 130 balls striking 9 boundaries and three
lusty sixes. It was his second ODI ton and marked a remarkable
comeback to form by the former captain who capped it by a telling
century in the third test against India in helping Sri Lanka to force a
draw against the strong Indians. Mathews effort fizzled out as the game
right hander ran out of partners to mount a final spurt of beating India.
He shared in a 53-run alliance for the fourth wicket with Niroshan
Dickwella who made 22 off 20 inclusive of four boundaries. Mathews
and Asela Gunaratne, who made 34 off 30 with 5 boundaries in a five
month long injury sidelined comeback, posted 44 for the fifth wicket.
But with the total on 159 Gunaratne lost his wicket stepping out of the
crease to loft Chahal and missing for Dhoni to stump him. From there
Mathews fought a total lone battle in bringing up his second ODI ton. It
was a remarkable effort given the dire circumstances.
Earlier, Sharma set the tone to the Indian innings posting 115 for the
first wicket with Shikar Dhawan who made a run a ball 68 containing 9
boundaries. Sharma’s 208 spanned 13 boundaries and a record 12
sixes. He went on to put on 213 for the second wicket with S.S. Iyer
who made an 88-ball 70 containing 9 boundaries and two sixes.
By Srian Obeyesekere