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Perera, Mathews humiliated India

Wednesday, July 25, 2021
© Cricket Nirvana

Running in through strong winds, it looks difficult for the Sri Lankan opening bowlers to control line and length, where India scored 31 for 0 with barely a risk. But then Thisara Perera, who is in good form through this home summer, wrecked India’s top batting order along with Angelo Mathew and turned Sri Lanka’s quest to level the five-match series 1-1 on Tuesday.

Pacemen Perera, who made ball swing in the air and seam off the surface, and Mathews each grabbed three wickets to set up Sri Lanka's comfortable nine-wicket win over India in the second one-day international. Perera finished with 3-19 and Mathews with 3-14 as India were dismissed for 138 off 33.3 overs after electing to bat in windy conditions in the day-night match in Hambantota.

Sri Lanka achieved the modest target with 181 balls to spare, with Upul Tharanga (59 not out) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (50) adding 119 for the opening wicket to help their team earn a comfortable win.

It was India's second-biggest defeat by balls remaining in one-day internationals, their worst (209 balls) also coming against Sri Lanka at Dambulla in 2010.

Tharanga cracked eight fours in his 60-ball knock while Dilshan, who was dropped early in his innings by Virender Sehwag in the slips off seamer Irfan Pathan, hit five boundaries.

India were earlier let down by their batsmen, except opener Gautam Gambhir alone defying the Sri Lankan attack with a 96-ball 65.

Ravichandran Ashwin (21), opener Sehwag (15) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (11) were the others to reach double-figures in a dismal Indian batting performance.

Perera jolted India when he took three wickets, including those of the previous match's main scorers Sehwag with a superb return catch in his first over and Virat Kohli (one) caught behind, in his opening three overs without conceding a run.

Mathews reduced India to 38-3 when he bowled Rohit Sharma for no score before Perera removed Suresh Raina (one) for his third wicket.