India go for ODI series sweep against Sri Lanka

Shikhar Dhawan's team take unbeatable 2-0 lead into third match of the series in Colombo on Friday

Shikhar Dhawan's India are on a high after securing a shock win in the second ODI against Sri Lanka to complete a record ninth-consecutive one-day series triumph over the islanders.

India were reduced to 193-7 chasing the hosts' total of 275-9, but from there seamers Deepak Chahar (69) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (19) put on an unbeaten stand of 84 for the eighth wicket to seal victory.

Chahar, who also took two wickets to limit Sri Lanka's total, recorded his maiden ODI fifty as India took an unbeatable 2-0 lead.

The win will give the Rahul Dravid-coached Indian team even more freedom to go for the kill in the third match in Colombo on Friday. With the visitors viewing the tour of Sri Lanka as low-key auditions for the T20 World Cup later in the year in the UAE, those in the playing XI will be keen to cash in on the momentum, especially in the packed batting department.

For the hosts, there is a lot to unpack. Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur brushed off suggestions that he had berated skipper Dasun Shanaka in front of cameras after they lost the series.

The South African coach was seen sharing heated words with Shanaka and gesturing at the captain on the field after the game.

"It was actually a very good debate, no need to make mischief out of it," Arthur said on Twitter responding to commentator Russel Arnold's comment that the exchange should have happened in the dressing room.

Top scorer Charith Asalanka, who made 65, said Sri Lanka thought they had won the game, but India's lower order fought back.

"We thought we put up a good total (of 275), but we lost the plot along the way," Asalanka said. "Sri Lanka's young team was emotional after losing the series, but hopeful of bouncing back."

There are other factors in play as well. There are no dead rubbers in ODIs now, with points for the new World Cup Super League up for grabs. Sri Lanka need victory and the resultant 10 points to get back into the race for qualification for the 2023 World Cup. They have lost nine of their last 10 completed ODIs, which has added to the pressure on the Sri Lankans.

Updated: July 22nd 2021, 1:36 PM
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