Pallekele, Aug 24: Sensible innings from Milinda Siriwardana and Chamara Kapugedera helped Sri Lanka score 236/8 in the second One-Day International (ODI) against India at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium here on Thursday.
Apart from the duo, opener Niroshan Dickwella (31) contributed to the cause for the hosts.
After going down in the first ODI by nine wickets, Sri Lanka regrouped their strategy in this game and started off on a positive note but some poor shot selection from the in-form and experienced players resulted in their downfall in the middle overs.
However, Siriwardana (58) and Kapugedera (40) played the ball to its merit to stabilise the innings. But after the fall of the latter’s wicket, the lower-order failed to provide the much required support and, thus, the hosts only managed to score a chaseable target.
On the other hand, Indian bowlers stepped up to the occasion in the overcast conditions and chipped in with vital wickets at regular intervals. The fielding was also up to the mark.
Earlier, after India won the toss and put the Islanders in to bat, the hosts crossed the 40-run-mark in the eighth over but then Dickwella was sent back to the pavilion. Soon Danushka Gunathilaka, who troubled the visitors in the first ODI, was dismissed by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
Once again the middle-order got exposed soon and experienced players Upul Tharanga (9) and Angelo Mathews (20) were dismissed by Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel, respectively.
But just when things seemed poor for the hosts, Siriwardana and Kapugedera displayed their temperament and forged the crucial runs for their team. After giving a tough fight in the middle, the duo was, however, sent packing by Jasprit Bumrah.
After Siriwardana and Kapugedera’s wicket, the lower-order batsmen — Akila Dananjaya (9), Dushmantha Chameera (6) and Vishwa Fernando (3) — once again failed to make their mark and the Islanders only managed to score a total of 236 runs in their allotted 50 overs.
For India, pacer Jasprit Bumrah scalped four wickets while leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal took two.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 236/8 (Milinda Siriwardana 58, Chamara Kapugedera 40; Jasprit Bumrah 4/43) against India.