Hambantota, Jul 24: Sri Lanka crushed India by nine wickets to level the five-match One Day International series 1-1 here at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
The second ODI of the series was a one-sided affair. After a dismal batting show by India, the hosts eased to victory in 19.5 overs while chasing a paltry score of 139. This defeat, with 181 balls to spare, was the second worst for India in terms of balls. Their heaviest loss was also against Sri Lanka, in Dambulla, in 2010, when they were annihilated with 209 deliveries remaining.
The total number of overs played in the match were 53.2 (33.3 and 19.5) overs. The third ODI will be held on Saturday, July 28, in Colombo.
India's quest of becoming the world's number one ODI side will have to wait for now. They needed to beat the hosts 5-0 to topple Australia from the top of ICC ODI team rankings.
Openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga raised their ninth century partnership together in 57 innings to guide the Sri Lankans home in front of a near empty stadium, just as it was during the first ODI on Saturday.
Dilshan registered his 27th ODI half century. He completed 50 off 47 balls with five fours. He was soon dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin for 50 with Sri Lanka needing 20 runs to win at the stage.
Tharanga too completed his fifty with a boundary, off 52 balls. This was his 26th ODI half century. The left-hander remained unbeaten on 59 and in the company of Dinesh Chandimal (six not out) completed the victory in the 20th over.
The win was set up earlier in the day by medium pacemen Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews, who took three wickets apiece. India were bowled out for 138. Perera was named Man-of-the-match.
India innings report
Sri Lankan Thisara Perera's dream spell of bowling, where he took three wickets for no run during his opening spell destroyed Indian batting.
The right-arm medium paceman's excellent bowling combined with Angelo's Mathews equally good stint at the bowling crease restricted India to 138 all out in 33.3 overs. This was India's sixth lowest total against their neighbours.
Amidst the ruins at the other end, opener Gautam Gambhir stood tall. His half century provided some respectability to the Indian score. The left-hander was the last man out for 65. Gambhir played 96 balls and hit four fours. Only four batsmen managed to touch double figures.
Much was expected from the Indian batsmen after captain MS Dhoni had won his second successive toss and chosen to bat. But instead of the bats making big sounds, it was the ball which did the talking.
From 314/6 in 50 overs in the first ODI, Indian batting came a cropper on Tuesday. When Gambhir and Virender Sehwag walked out to bat, another tall score was expected, but not to be.
Sehwag was the first to go for 15 runs. This was after a good beginning from India. They had raced to 31/0 in three overs. Virat Kohli had a rare failure, perishing for 1. Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina too followed.
There was a brief partnership between Dhoni and Gambhir. The captain was dropped on zero but could not capitalise as he fell for 11.
Perera, in his first three overs, which were all maidens, dismissed Sehwag, Kohli and Raina. His figures, then, read 3-3-0-3. It could have easily been 3-3-0-4 if not for that dropped catch by Mathews of Dhoni.
Perera finished with 3/19 in eight overs. Mathews also had three wickets for 14 runs in seven overs. Lasith Malinga took two wickets.
India captain MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat again in the second One Day International.
India are unchanged from the first victorious side. Sri Lanka were forced to make one change.
Sri Lanka are without their fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara, who was ruled out of the series after a groin injury sustained during the opening match here. Nuwan Pradeep has come in as his replacement into the 15-man squad. However, Pradeep is not playing today. Isuru Udana, the left-arm paceman is making his ODI debut.
India will have to be careful with their over-rate after captain Dhoni and all team members were fined by International Cricket Council (ICC) for being slow in the opening ODI.
India won the first ODI by 21 runs after Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag shone with the bat. Kohli hit 106 while Sehwag made 96. Kumar Sangakkara too made a century but went in a losing cause.
India: MS Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Pragyan Ojha.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath, Isuru Udana.
Umpires: Bruce Oxenford (Australia) and Ruchira Palliyaguruge (Sri Lanka)
Third Umpire: Ranmore Martinesz (Sri Lanka)
Match Referee: Chris Broad (England)