COLOMBO: Lower-order batter Chamika Karunaratne hit an unbeaten 44 to steer Sri Lanka to 275 for nine in the second One-day International against India in Colombo on Tuesday.
Karunaratne’s 33-ball knock added to the Sri Lankan total after Avishka Fernando (50) and Charith Asalanka (65) took on the Indian bowling at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
The Dasun Shanaka-led Sri Lanka elected to bat first for the second time in the three-match series after losing the opener by seven wickets at the same venue on Sunday.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar took three wickets each while quick bowler Deepak Chahar claimed two.
Fernando got Sri Lanka off to a strong start with a 70-run opening stand with wicket-keeper/batsman Minod Bhanuka, who made 36.
Chahal broke through with two successive strikes, sending back Bhanuka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa for a duck.
Fernando kept up the fight with his fourth ODI half-century and put on 47 with Dhananjaya de Silva for the third wicket. But the opener soon fell to Kumar after his 50 off 71 balls.
Bowlers struck back with middle-order wickets, but the left-handed Asalanka took the attack to the opposition with a maiden ODI fifty in his fourth match.
His 50-run seventh-wicket partnership with Karunaratne set the tone for Sri Lanka’s strong finish in their bid to keep the series alive.
Karunaratne, who hit a quickfire in the his team’s total of 262 in the opening match, stood firm after Asalanka’s departure in the 48th over to help Sri Lanka get 23 runs from the final 12 balls.
India, led by Shikhar Dhawan, need 276 to clinch the series.
W.I.A. Fernando c K. Pandya b Kumar 50
M. Bhanuka c Pandey b Chahal 36
B.P.P. Rajapaksa c Kishan b Chahal 0
D.M. de Silva c Dhawan b Chahar 32
K.I.C. Asalanka c sub b Kumar 65
M.D. Shanaka b Chahal 16
W. Hasaranga b Chahar 8
C. Karunaratne not out 44
P.V.D. Chameera c sub b Kumar 2
P.A.D.L.R. Sandakan run out 0
C.A.K. Rajitha not out 1
EXTRAS (LB-6, W-13, NB-2) 21
TOTAL (for nine wkts, 50 overs) 275
FALL OF WKTS: 1-77, 2-77, 3-124, 4-134, 5-172, 6-194, 7-244, 8-264, 9-266.
BOWLING: Kumar 10-0-54-3 (1nb, 1w); Chahar 8-0-53-2 (3w); H.H. Pandya 4-0-20-0 (1nb, 3w); Chahal 10-1-50-3; Kuldeep Yadav 10-0-55-0 (1w); K.H. Pandya 8-0-37-0 (1w).
INDIA: P.P. Shaw, S. Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, M.K. Pandey, S.A. Yadav, H.H. Pandya, K.H. Pandya, B. Kumar, D.L. Chahar, Y.S. Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav.
UMPIRES: H.D.P.K. Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and L.E. Hannibal (Sri Lanka).
TV UMPIRE: R.S.A. Palliyaguruge (Sri Lanka).
MATCH REFEREE: R.S. Madugalle (Sri Lanka).
Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2021