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India beat Sri Lanka by 4 wickets to clinch ODI series at the Eden

13th January 2023
A fine performance by the bowlers followed by an unbeaten 64 by KL Rahul helped India outclass Sri Lanka by 4 wickets in the second ODI to clinch the three-match series 2-0 at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.
Opting to bat, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 215 in 39.4 overs, thanks to some impressive bowling by Mohammed Siraj (3-30), Kuldeep Yadav (3-51), Umran Malik (2-48) and Axar Patel (1-16).
In reply, despite the top-order failing to fire, India managed to get the job done scoring 219/6 in 43.2 overs, courtesy of a match-winning knock by Rahul.
Chasing the target, India got off to a positive start with Rohit Sharma (17) and Shubman Gill (21) making the most of the first couple of overs.
But Karunaratne got the better of the India skipper in the fifth over to reduce the home side to 33 for 1. Gill, who looked in fine touch, threw his wicket away after playing a loose shot while in-form batter Virat Kohli (4) too followed leaving the home side in a bit of a bother at 62 for 3.
Incoming batsman Shreyas Iyer played a fine 33-ball 28 before being judged leg before off the bowing of Rajitha to leave India at 86 for 4
From there on, KL Rahul along with Hardik Pandya (36) added 75 runs for the fifth wicket to take team past the 150-run mark.
After the dismissal of Pandya in the 35th over, Rahul and Axar Patel (21) added another 30 runs for the sixth wicket to take team closer to victory.
In the end, Rahul and Kuldeep (10) stayed unbeaten to win it for the home side. Earlier, opting to bat, Sri Lanka were off to a cautious start but Siraj produced the breakthrough dismissing opener Avishka Fernando (20) in the sixth over.
From there on debutant Nuwanidu Fernando (50) and Kusal Mendis (34) held the innings firmly to add a vital 73-run partnership for the second wicket to take team past the 100-run mark.
But Kuldeep Yadav, replacing Yuzvendra Chahal for the match, got rid of the set batter Mendis to bring a sigh of relief in the India camp.
The home side piled more pressure on the visitors dismissing Dhananjaya de Silva (0) followed by Nuwanidu to have the team in trouble at 118 for 4.
In-form batsman and skipper Dasun Shanaka (2) too departed putting Lanka in a spot of bother at 125 for 5.
Against the run of play, Dunith Wellalage (32) and Wanindu Hasaranga (21) played handy knocks to add some crucial runs for the visitors.
After their dismissal, Chamika Karunaratne (17) and Kasun Rajitha (17 not out) added some vital runs to take team past the 200-run mark before their innings folded for 215.

Arindam Basu