Millennium Post

Rayudu ton fashions India win

Rayudu ton fashions India win
Ambati Rayudu slammed his maiden hundred as India produced yet another comprehensive batting performance to beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the second ODI on Thursday. India now lead five-match series 2-0.

Batting first, Sri Lanka scored 274 for eight in stipulated 50 overs with skipper Angelo Mathews scoring 92. In reply, India never looked in any sort of trouble as they chased down the target with minimum fuss in only 44.3 overs.

With Virat Kohli promoting him at No 3, the 29-year-old Rayudu justified his skipper’s faith scoring an unbeaten 121 off 118 balls with the help of 10 fours and four sixes in an innings that was paced perfectly.

He shared two fruitful partnerships off 122 runs for the second wicket with Shikhar Dhawan (79) and 116 for the third wicket with Kohli (49) as ‘Men In Blue’ again made the inexperienced Sri Lankan bowling attack look pedestrian. Fittingly enough, it was Rayudu, who finished the match with an inside out boundary off leggie Seekkuge Prasanna. With this century, 29-year-old Rayudu became the fourth oldest Indian batsman to score his maiden ton in ODIs after Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath and Robin Singh.

Growing in confidence after reaching his half century, Rayudu lofted Dhammika Prasad for his third six when in the 80s, then confidently smote off spinner Suraj Randiv for another maximum in his 90s before reaching the coveted landmark with a single to square leg. Rayudu’s previous highest was 64 not out made in England at Nottingham in August as he showed a lot of maturity during his innings.

Having taken two catches and also effected a run-out, Rayudu deservingly won the man-of-the-match award. The Guntur-born batsman first steadied the ship after the cheap dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane to stitch the first century stand with Dhawan, whose 79 off 80 balls was laced with 1 six and 7 fours.

The two teams now head to Hyderabad for the third match of the series to be played on November 9. Earlier, skipper Mathews struck a fighting 92 to lift a struggling Sri Lanka to 274 for eight after being pting to bat on a slowish Motera track. The visitors lost early wickets but Mathews’ unbeaten innings laced with 10 fours and a six - and Kumar Sangakkara’s useful 61 took the side to respectability. The duo stitched a crucial 90-run fourth-wicket partnership after Lanka were struggling at 64 for three.
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