India overcome Sri Lanka in a close game at Pallekele

Bhuvneshwar Kumar scored his maiden half-century in 50-over format as India beat Sri Lanka by three wickets to take 2-0 lead in the five match series in Kandy on Thursday.

India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and once again opted to bowl first. His decision paid dividend as once again hosts crumbled under pressure and managed to post just 236 for the loss of eight wickets in their allotted 50 overs.Pacer Jaspreet Bumrah was the pick of the bowler for the visitors, as he claimed four wickets and just gave away 43 runs in 10 over.

For Sri Lanka, all-rounder Melinda Siriwardana finished the innings with the top score of run-a-ball 58, which included two fours and one six. He was well supported by Chamara Kapugedera, who managed to score crucial 40 runs off 61 balls. The scheduled restart of the second innings was affected by the rain, due to which India were set a revised target of 231 in 47 over.

Openers Rohit Sharma (54) and Shikhar Dhawan (49) once again gave a blistering start to the visitors, as the duo managed to score 109 runs for the first wickets. However, mystery off-spinner Akila Dhananjaya first broke the opening partnership and then went on to produce a brilliant spell of top class spin bowling, as India lost six wickets for just 22 runs in between seven overs.

But a match-winning 100-run eighth wickets partnership between wicket keeper-batsman MS Dhoni and Kumar took India over the line with 14 balls to spare. Kumar finished 53 not out off 80 balls with the help of fours fours and one six, whereas Dhoni remained unbeaten on 45 off 68, which included a single boundary.

For his outstanding bowling performance in a losing cause, Dhananjaya was awarded man of the match.

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