Allrounders Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews shared six wickets between them as Sri Lanka thrashed India by nine wickets in the second ODI in Hambantota on Tuesday. Chasing 139 for victory, Sri Lankan openers Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan put their team on course for a rousing victory with a 119-run stand in 16.4 overs before victory was sealed with 181 balls remaining.
Tharanga and Dilshan started circumspectly but opened up to take the score to 64 for 0 at the dinner interval. Tharanga was more confident, driving crisply and with fluency. Dilshan was given a life on 1 when he slashed Irfan Pathan to first slip where Virender Sehwag spilled a face-high catch. There was no looking back, as Dilshan opened up in the ninth over bowled by Umesh Yadav.
By the time he fell for a 49-ball 50 to Ravichandran Ashwin in the 17th over, the Lankans had all but secured the target. Tharanga (59*) and Dinesh Chandimal (6*) knocked off the remaining runs as Sri Lanka raced to the target in 19.5 overs.
Earlier, having elected to bat, India’s openers Virender Sehwag - who made a brilliant 96 in the series opener on Saturday - and Gautam Gambhir were off their blocks straight away with 31 runs from the first three overs. However, once Perera got rid of Sehwag and Virat Kohli in back-to-back overs the tone of India’s innings changed.
The medium-pacer took a juggling return catch of Sehwag (15), while Kohli (1) edged straight through to wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara. Things got worse when the out-of-form Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina joined Sehwag and Kohli in the pavilion - both batsmen chopped the ball on to their stumps.
While all this was happening, Gambhir was a picture of concentration at the other end. The left-hander completed his fifty in the 27th over as MS Dhoni (11), Irfan (6), Ashwin (21), Zaheer Khan (2) and Pragyan Ojha (5) failed to offer solidarity.
Gambhir (65) was the last man to go in the 34th over as India were bowled out for 138. Perera returned figures of 3 for 19, while Mathews recorded 3 for 14. Lasith Malinga also chipped in with 2 for 36. However, Isuru Udana, who made his ODI debut in the match, went wicketless conceding 42 runs in his six overs.
The five match series is tied at 1-1. The third ODI will be played on July 28 in Colombo.