Ahmedabad, Nov 6: Ambati Rayudu slammed his maiden hundred as India produced yet another comprehensive batting performance to beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the second One Day International, here tonight.
India now lead five-match series 2-0. Batting first, Sri Lanka scored 274 for eight in stipulated 50 overs with skipper Angelo Mathews scoring 92.
In reply, India never looked in any sort of trouble as they chased down the target with minimum fuss in only 44.3 overs. With Virat Kohli promoting him at No 3, the 29-year-old Rayudu justified his skipper's faith scoring an unbeaten 121 off 118 balls with the help of 10 fours and four sixes in an innings that was paced perfectly.
He shared two fruitful partnerships off 122 runs for the second wicket with Shikhar Dhawan (79) and 116 for the third wicket with Kohli (49) as 'Men In Blue' again made the inexperienced Sri Lankan bowling attack look pedestrian.
Fittingly enough, it was Rayudu, who finished the match with an inside out boundary off leggie Seekkuge Prasanna. With this century, 29-year-old Rayudu became the fourth oldest Indian batsman to score his maiden ton in ODIs after Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath and Robin Singh.
Growing in confidence after reaching his half century, Rayudu lofted Dhammika Prasad for his third six when in the 80s, then confidently smote off spinner Suraj Randiv for another maximum in his 90s before reaching the coveted landmark with a single to square leg.
Rayudu's previous highest was 64 not out made in England at Nottingham in August as he showed a lot of maturity during his innings.
Having taken two catches and also effected a run-out, Rayudu deservingly won the man-of-the-match award. The Guntur-born batsman first steadied the ship after the cheap dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane to stitch the first century stand with Dhawan, whose 79 off 80 balls was laced with 1 six and 7 fours.
The two teams now head to Hyderabad for the third match of the series to be played on November 9.
Sri Lanka post 274/8
Earlier, skipper Mathews struck a fighting fifty to lift a struggling Sri Lanka to 274 for eight.
Electing to bat, the visitors lost early wickets but Mathews' unbeaten 92 - his innings laced with 10 fours and a six - and Kumar Sangakkara's valiant 61 took the side to respectability.
The duo stitched a crucial 90-run fourth-wicket partnership after Sri Lanka were struggling at 64 for three. With the visitors being reduced to 220 for eight in the 44th over, Mathews got support from number-ten batsman Dhammika Prasad and the duo stitched a valuable 54-run unbeaten partnership to give the islanders the necessary push in the end.
Indian pace spearhead Umesh Yadav (2-54) struck with two important wickets before spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (2-49) and young Axar Patel (2-39) took charge to hurt the Sri Lankan batting. Ravindra Jadeja, brought into the side for injured Varun Aaron, disappointed though he took a wicket with his left arm spin as he conceded 64 runs.
Ishant Sharma bowled well initially but gave away runs in the last over to conceded 58 runs without any success while Yadav (2 for 54) bowled a bit too short or too wide at times.
India fielded well with Rayudu picking up two catches, besides effecting a run-out. Sri Lanka commenced on a poor note when Kusal Perera, who had replaced Upul Tharanga, fell to the sixth ball of the match when he played across and was trapped leg before by Umesh Yadav.
Tillekaratne Dilshan, at the other end, batted aggressively and took ten runs with the help of two successive fours in speedster Yadav's second over. The seasoned batsman then hit Ashwin for four successive fours in the bowler's first over, and tenth of the innings, to give the innings some momentum as the Sri Lankan total reached 50.
However, he tried to cut an arm ball fired into the stumps by Patel in the very next over and lost his stumps after having added 51 runs for the second wicket with Sangakkara. He also hit 7 fours in making 35 off 30 balls.