IND v SL, 2nd ODI, Review: Rohit Sharma’s double century flattens the visitors as India level the series
Angelo Mathews scored a defiant ton in a losing cause for his team.
Updated - Dec 13, 2017 7:29 pm
Team India won the second ODI of the three-match series 141 runs against Sri Lanka and levelled the series in style. The day was bossed by the Indian captain Rohit Sharma who absolutely nailed the occasion of the must-win game and smashed a third double century in his ODI career. The visitors surrendered early in the chase after his swashbuckling knock as India thrashed their plans of sealing the series in Mohali. However, the decider now will be played on Sunday in Visakhapatnam.
Thisara Perera called correctly once again when the coin was flipped in the air and decided to bowl first on a hazy morning with an aim to replicate the performance in Dharamsala. While Sri Lanka went into the game unchanged, India were brave enough to hand over a debut to the 18-year-old Washington Sundar at the expense of Kuldeep Yadav. The opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Rohit strode out to counter the early swing on offer for the bowlers. Surprisingly there was no swing apart from a few which troubled the batsmen in the first 10 overs.
Dhawan, however, was the first to take charge and upped the scoring rate in the second powerplay. He scored runs easily and brought up his half-century even as his partner rotated the strike calmly. Just when he was looking good for a big score, Dhawan was scalped by Sachith Pathirana on 65 but not before the duo provided India with a splendid start of 115. Shreyas Iyer then joined his skipper and looked comfortable right away after being exposed to the moving ball a couple of days ago.
Rohit on his way to a special knock
Both of them eased into their roles as runs were on offer with huge open spaces on the ground. Iyer reached his maiden half-century as Rohit notched up his 16th century without breaking even a sweat. The stage was now set for the duo to accelerate in the last few. While Iyer connected a few, Rohit took the back seat and let the youngster enjoy his stay. But he perished while on 80 and missed out on a well-deserved century. The skipper then took the charge and smashed Suranga Lakmal for four consecutive sixes in an over.
The 44th over fetched 26 runs as India crossed 300 and Rohit reached 140. He continued to smash sixes at will even after that as Perera had no plans to the onslaught of his counterpart. Rohit Sharma brought up his third double century in the process, the second part of which had only arrived in 36 cherries, in the final over of the innings. He remained unbeaten on 208 off just 153 balls and his knock was studded with 13 fours and 12 monumental maximums. India posted a huge total of 392/4 on the board as Nuwan Pradeep also scored a century with the ball in hand to register one of the worst bowling figures in ODIs.
The derailed chase
Sri Lanka looked resigned to their fate from the word go and there was no intent shown by them to gun down the near impossible target set by the hosts. They lost their openers Upul Tharanga and Danushka Gunathilaka within the first powerplay which made things worse as they hardly went against the bowlers who were accurate. Angelo Mathews though stood tall amongst all and proved why he is still the veteran in the format. He slammed a serene ton and stayed not-out on 111 until the end as they mustered just 251 runs and fell well short of the target set. They also squandered the lead which they had taken by winning the first ODI.
For India, all the bowlers chipped in with wickets to cap off a near-perfect day for the Men in Blue. Yuzvendra Chahal scalped three as Jasprit Bumrah picked two wickets to break the back of the line-up. The debutant was expensive but castled Lahiru Thirimanne who looked reverse sweep his quicker delivery. Rohit Sharma was the obvious choice for the Man of the match award for his record-breaking innings and India would hope to take this momentum into the decider now.
India 392/4 after 50 overs (R Sharma 208*, S Iyer 80, S Dhawan 68)
Sri Lanka 253/8 after 50 overs (A Mathews 111*; Y Chahal 3/60, J Bumrah 2/43)
Result: India won by 141 runs
Man of the Match Rohit Sharma