IND vs SL 2022-23, 1st ODI: KL Rahul allows nervy India to sneak past with a series win; netizens relieved
IND vs SL 2022-23: India put on a nervy yet composed show to beat Sri Lanka by four wickets in the second Kolkata ODI on Thursday, registering a series win. While KL Rahul was the man who made it possible, netizens were relieved.
Team India managed to tame neighbour Sri Lanka by four wickets in the second One-Day International (ODI) at the iconic Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata. The triumph allowed the hosts to secure a series win, as the final ODI in Thiruvananthpuram is now a dead rubber. However, it was not an impressive victory, given how the Indians had placed themselves in this low-scoring encounter, getting off to a nervy start in the chase. Thanks to KL Rahul's fine unbeaten knock of 64, with dew troubling the Lankan bowlers, the Men in Blue managed to sneak past, while netizens were left concerned by India's mentality during the chase.
Winning the toss, Lions skipper Dasun Shanaka opted to bat. At the same time, both teams changed their playing XI, with India bringing in chinaman-spinner Kuldeep Yadav for injured leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. Although the visitors lost Avishka Fernando (20) early in the sixth over of the PowerPlay (PP) after pacer, Mohammed Siraj played him down, with 29 runs on the board, Nuwanidu Fernando (50) and Kusal Mendis (34) put on 79 for the second wicket, controlling Lanka's shaky start.
While Mendis was trapped leg-before by Kuldeep in the 17th, the Lankans lost wickets in a heap and were down to 126/6 by the 25th. Although Dunith Wellalage (32) tried to provide some fightback, the bowling by the Indians was too strong, as the Lions were bundled for 215 by the 40th.
For the hosts, Siraj and Kuldeep grabbed three each, while leg-spinner Axar Patel was the most economical. In reply, India started on an aggressive note but lost three wickets within the tenth over of the PP, with 62 runs on the board, and was down to 86/4 by the 15th.
However, Rahul and Hardik Pandya (36) stitched a 75-run partnership for the sixth wicket, which kept India in the chase as the side edged closer to the target. Although pacer Chamika Karunaratne broke the stand by getting rid of the latter in the 35th, Axar (21) aided Rahul and added 30 more before falling in the 40th to off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva.
At this time, Rahul brought up his 12th ODI half-century and, along with Kuldeep (10*), got the job done by four wickets, with 40 balls to spare. For Lanka, pacers Lahiru Kumara and Karunaratne grasped a couple of wickets each, while medium-pacer Shanaka and de Silva were the most economical ones.
Brief scores: SL 215 in 39.4 overs (Nuwanidu- 50; Siraj- 3/30, Kuldeep- 3/51) lost to IND a219/6 in 43.2 overs (Rahul- 64*; Karunaratne- 2/51) by four wickets.