Deepak Chahar does the star turn as India win series

Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar flays one through the off side. Photo: Twitter/BCCI

Colombo: Tail-ender Deepak Chahar brought India back from the dead with a steely unbeaten 69 off 82 balls and script the visiting team's series-sealing victory in the second ODI against Sri Lanka here on Tuesday.

Chasing 276, India were down and out at 193/7 before Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (19 not out off 28) forged an unbeaten 84-run stand to seal a memorable win for the visitors who extended their record of not losing an ODI on Sri Lankan soil since 2012.

A struggling Sri Lankan outfit badly needed a morale-boosting win but has only itself to blame for not finishing the job from a commanding position.

Chahar, whose highest score before this game was 12, showed remarkable resolve and composure under pressure to take his team over the line with five balls to spare. He fittingly hit the winning boundary.

It was India's ninth consecutive bilateral series win over Sri Lanka. The third ODI will be played on Friday.

It was expected to be another comfortable chase for India after Sri Lanka put an improved batting effort to post 275/9.

However, questionable shot selection from the majority of the Indian batsmen gave their struggling opponents hope.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav produced a fluent fifty. Photo: Twitter/ICC

Barring Chahar and Suryakumar Yadav (53), the Indian batsmen faltered. Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga troubled the Indians with his variations and ended up being the standout bowler for his team.

India felt the heat early on in the chase with Prithvi Shaw and Ishan Kishan, who both blew away the opposition in the opener on Sunday, getting out to bad shots.

Shaw failed to pick a wrong one off Hasaranga and got bowled while going for a cut. The opener once again showed sublime form during his short stay in the middle with three delightful boundaries before throwing it away.

Kishan, with his feet nowhere close to the bat, tried to whack it through the off-side off pacer Kasun Rajitha only to play it on to the stumps, leaving India at 39/2 in four overs.

Hasranga gets Dhawan
Wanindu Hasranga, right, is pumped up after dismissing Shikhar Dhawan. Photo: Twitter/ICC

Skipper Shikhar Dhawan (29 off 38) was not at his fluent best for the second game in a row and was trapped in front by Hasaranga.

Manish Pandey (37) was unfortunate to be run out off a deflection from the bowler's hand and Hardik Pandya hitting it straight to mid wicket with hard hands left India reeling at 116/5.

Suryakumar and Krunal stitched a 44-run stand and after that Chahar produced a stunner from nowhere for a remarkable win.

Earlier, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal led India's decent effort with the ball.

Team India
Indian players celebrate after the fall of a Lankan wicket. Photo: Twitter/BCCI

Pretty much like the series opener, most of the Sri Lankan batsmen got starts but failed to capitalise after the hosts opted to bat.

Avishka Fernando (50 off 71) and Charith Asalanka (65 off 68) struck fine half-centuries but the home team wasn't disciplined enough to post an imposing total.

Chamika Karunaratne (44 not out off 33) came up with another timely cameo to take the team past 270.

Chahal (3/50) was the pick of the bowlers while pacers Chahar (2/53) and Bhuvneshwar (3/54) too got wickets primarily due to profligacy of the home team batsmen.

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