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Deepak Chahar heroics help India seal a 3-wicket win Against Srilanka in 2nd ODI

Until Tuesday, Deepak Chahar was known as a pace bowler who could swing the ball but his brilliant IPL performance leads him to Team India as a pace bowler but now he can update his CV, and can mention that he could bat his team to win – but the coach for India’s team to Sri Lanka Rahul Dravid thought otherwise. According to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, it was Dravid’s Masterstroke to promote Chahar ahead of India’s Vice-Captain.

Chasing 276, India was down and out at 193 for seven 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 Lanka 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.

Batting first after winning the toss, Sri Lanka made a competitive 275 for 9 in 50 overs. India lost seven wickets for 193 runs during their chase and looked in danger of defeat but Chahar paired with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (19 not out) for an undefeated 84-run stand for the eighth wicket with Tail-ender Deepak Chahar brought India back from the dead with a steely 69 off 82 balls Earlier, Chahar also shone with the ball taking two wickets for 53 runs in eight overs in Sri Lanka’s innings.

After the defeat in 1ST ODI Sri Lanka made a strong comeback in the second encounter and produced a much-better all-round display with both bat and the ball. The hosts rode on the fifties from Avishka Fernando (50) and Charith Asalanka (65) to post a strong total of 275 runs on the board and gave the visitors a run for their money with the ball. Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga spun a web around the Indian batting line-up in their run-chase as he removed Prithvi Shaw cheaply on 13 before getting rid of captain Shikhar Dhawan (29) and Krunal Pandya (35) to dent India's hopes. However, Suryakumar Yadav notched up his maiden ODI fifty (53 off 44 balls) to keep India in the hunt along with Krunal Pandya, who scored 35 off 54 balls.

At one point in time, Srilanka was looking favorite to win this match before Chahar and Bhuvneshwar combined to rescue India's sinking ship with a memorable unbeaten stand. The duo played out of their skin and managed to take India home in the final over to clinch the nail-biter by three wickets whereas Leg spin bowler Yuzvendra Chahal had the best bowling figures for India, taking 3-50 off 10 overs.

“It was a similar situation. But we didn’t do much planning. The idea was to play till the last over and get as close as possible. But we never thought of winning the match. We only thought of batting as deep as possible. The way Deepak batted was just amazing,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar said.

Deepak Chahar had scored half-centuries in domestic cricket but still Not many trusted him with the bat. But Rahul Dravid knew his potential having seen him bat during India A tours, especially against England Lions and South Africa A which was enough for Rahul Dravid to see potential in him.

“He played with India A under Rahul Dravid before and he was good in those series. So, he knew Deepak can bat and hit a few balls well. It was Rahul Dravid’s call to send him ahead of me and the way he batted he proved the call right. He has batted well in Ranji Trophy a few times so it wasn’t a tough call but it’s good to see the way he scored those runs,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar said in the post-match press conference.

The final match of the series will be played on Friday.


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