New Delhi: Former India skipper MS Dhoni and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar came to Team India’s rescue and anchored the visitors to a 3-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second ODI of the five-match series in Kandy.
The Virat Kohli-led Indian unit were initially cruising while chasing a target of 231 but lost the plot in the middle and were reduced to 131/7. An unbeaten hundred-run stand between Dhoni and Kumar for the 8th wicket sealed India’s win.
Young Akila Dananjaya nearly disturbed the established order and won the game for the hosts. The off-spinner was introduced to the attack in the 12th over and turned the game upside down, finishing with career-best figures of 6 for 54.
Dananjaya had tied the knot less than 24 hours before the game at his hometown in Mortuwa to childhood his sweetheart Nethalie Tekshini. But instead of going on the honeymoon, he was back in the team hotel in Kandy that night ahead of the second ODI.
Dananjaya’s bride was present at the ground to witness her husband winning the Man of the Match, despite Sri Lanka ending up second best on the day.
The 24-year-old had taken four wickets against Zimbabwe in Hambantota, and was expected to play the opening fixture against India in
Dambulla. But the Sri Lankans opted for the left-arm wrist spin of Lakshan Sandakan instead as he had enjoyed a decent outing in the final Test at Pallekele.
Dananjaya first rose to prominence when Mahela Jayawardene and Graham Ford picked him from nowhere for Sri Lanka’s World T20 campaign at home in 2012.
He had impressed the then Sri Lankan
management as a net bowler and they wanted him fast tracked to the senior side despite not having played any first class cricket.