Rohit Sharma smashed a double century as India avenged their loss in the first ODI to Sri Lanka with a 141 victory in the second match in the series in Mohali. It was a highly entertaining day’s play for the crowd which saw 645 runs scored, and an emphatic home victory.
India came into the two match determined to make amends for the events at Dharmsala where they had been thoroughly outplayed by the tourists.
The hosts made one change from the first match with 18-year old right-arm spinner Washington Sundar handed a debut in place of Kuldeep Yadav, Sri Lanka, unsurprisingly, were unchanged and, winning the toss, decided to bowl first.
This time round, however, there was to be no repeat of the batting collapse that marred the Indian performance in the first ODI. Instead the Indian opening pair of stand-in skipper Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan were on the front foot from the start, scoring at nearly a run a ball as they compiled a 115 run opening partnership.
Dhawan raced to his 23rd ODI half-century before falling to the bowling of Sacith Pathirana for 68, but there was to be no respite for Sri Lanka.
Young Shreyas Iyer, playing in only his second international match joined Sharma at the increase, and the onslaught continued. The pair continued to score rapidly, as Iyer reached his first ODI half-century, whilst Sharma was on his route to his 16th ODI century. Having reached those personal milestones, the pair accelerated even further, attacking the Sri Lankan bowlers at will, as the pair scored 123 for the second wicket in just 22 overs, before Iyer fell for a high impressive 88, which included 2 sixes.
At the other end, Sharma was now really hitting his stride, and was blasting sixes to all parts of the ground, including three off successive balls. He raced to his third double century, becoming the first batsman to do so in ODI history, as India continued to pile on the runs.
MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya both fell cheaply to Thisara Perara chasing cheap runs at the end, but, by then, the damage had been well and truly done. India amassed 392 for 4 off their 50 overs, with Sharma undefeated on 208, including 12 sixes.
None of the Sri Lanka bowlers will want to remember their bowling figures, but Nuwan Pradeep will have more reason than most to avoid the record books, after conceding 106 off his 10 overs without taking a wicket.
Such a stunning total was always likely to be beyond Sri Lanka and so it proved, although they made a decent effort in response, helped by an unbeaten century from Angelo Mathews who scored 111 not out, including 3 sixes. Unfortunately, the visitors failed to put together any big partnerships, with Asela Gunaratne (34), Niroshan Dickwella (22), Lahiru Thirimanne (21) and Danushka Gunathilaka (21) all getting a start, without any of them going on to get a big innings.
The tourists were always behind the run rate and eventually closed their innings on 251/8, some 141 runs short of their target. Yuzvendra Chahal took 3 for 60 for India, and Jasprit Bumrah 2 for 43.
The teams now move on to Visakhapatnam for the decider on Sunday.