India vs Sri Lanka 2nd ODI: India cruise past Sri Lanka behind Rayudu’s maiden century

Rayudu is elated after scoring his maiden ODI century

Rayudu is elated after scoring his maiden ODI century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

India batsman Ambati Rayudu scored his maiden ODI century to help his side cruise past Sri Lanka by six wickets in the second ODI in Ahmedabad.

Rayudu was well supported by opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who made an entertaining 79.

However, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews and wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara deserve some credit as they both scored valiant half-centuries.

Mathews would have been mulling over his decision to bat first after Umesh Yadav trapped opening batsman Kusal Perera lbw for a duck on the sixth ball of the match.

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sangakkara made up for the early loss of Perera with a 51-run partnership before Dilshan was clean bowled by Akshar Patel for 35.

Mahela Jayawardene only made four runs before he was caught by Rayudu at deep midwicket off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin for four runs.

Sangakkara and Mathews steadied the innings with a 90-run partnership, during which Sangakkara brought up his half-century, before he was caught by Dhawan at long-on off the bowling of Yadav.

Sangakkara’s excellent knock of 61 came off 86 balls and included four boundaries.

Sangakkara scored his 87th ODI half-century

Sangakkara scored his 87th ODI half-century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Seekkuge Prasanna scored 13 runs before he was caught by Rayudu at deep backward square leg off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja.

Sri Lanka lost another wicket just three balls later when Ashan Priyanjan was run out by Rayudu for one run.

Thisara Perera fared no better as he was clean bowled by Patel for 10 runs.

Suraj Randiv also made 10 runs before he was cleaned up by Ashwin.

However, Sri Lanka finished their innings on a high as Mathews and Dhammika Prasad amassed an unbeaten 54-run partnership to help their side reach 274/8 off their 50 overs.

Mathews ended up scoring 92 off 101 balls, which included 10 boundaries and a six, while Prasad remained undefeated on 30 off 28 deliveries, which included four boundaries.

Mathews' stellar knock of 92 went in vain

Mathews’ stellar knock of 92 went in vain

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Yadav, Ashwin and Patel picked up two wickets apiece, while Jadeja chipped in with one.

Chasing 275 to win, India got off to an awful start as opening batsman Ajinkya Rahane was the victim of a sharp rebound catch by Jayawardene at slip off the bowling of Prasad for eight runs.

Sangakkara, who was the wicketkeeper, initially dropped the catch, but Jayawardene dived to hit left to take a superb catch.

Dhawan and Rayudu stabilised the innings with a 122-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Dhawan was caught by Priyanjan at deep square leg off the bowling of Prasanna.

Dhawan, who should have been given out on 10 after he was caught behind, scored an excellent 79, which came off 80 balls and included seven boundaries and a six.

Dhawan hit seven boundaries and a six during his innings of 79

Dhawan hit seven boundaries and a six during his innings of 79

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Rayudu and India captain Virat Kohli kept the runs flowing with a 116-run partnership, during which Rayudu registered his maiden ODI century, before Kohli was caught by Randiv at short cover off the bowling of Prasanna for 49.

Suresh Raina mustered 14 runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Prasanna.

Thanks to Rayudu’s career-best knock of 121, which came off 118 balls and included 10 boundaries and four sixes, India ended up winning by six wickets.

Prasanna was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Prasad claimed one.

Mathews was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “The 300 mark makes a lot of difference. We lost our way in the middle and couldn’t pull through. These wickets are quite good for the batsmen and you need to score runs in the top four as well. We’ll try to make it up in the next game, but it was an embarrassing performance. We need to try and get wickets because it’s never easy, especially with their batting line-up. We’ve got to pull out our best to try and see if we can beat the Indians.”

Kohli was ecstatic to have taken a 2-0 lead in the series, and said: “It’s just about giving the guys a bit of belief and confidence from my end and from Duncan and the management as well. To go out there and perform, the guys have responded beautifully so far. Actually, a blessing in disguise to lose the toss [because there was] quite a bit of dew later on. Rayudu was in the India A team, and it’s all about giving him the opportunity that he deserved, and he made full use of that. We are treating every game as the last game of the series. That’s the kind of culture we’re building in this team.”

Rayudu was named Man of the Match, and said: “It’s special, and it’s been a long wait. I think, more than anything, it was the confidence given to me by the coach, Virat and Dhoni bhai. All the team management keep telling me, hang in there, hang in there. I was not actually looking to get a hundred as such, just trying to stay not out and see the team through and in the process I got to the hundred. I think it’s left to the captain [keeping the No. 3 position], so I’ll stand by whatever decision he takes.”

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