Team India won a thriller in the second ODI against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, 20 July. Sri Lanka were well on their way to break their losing streak but saw Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar take the game away from them in the final 15 overs of the match.
The pinch of defeat was even felt by the new comer Charith Asalanka. The young batsman has only played four ODIs for his country and registered his first international 50 in the match.
"We're all emotional, the team and coaches are all emotional," Asalanka Said after the game.
"We're a young team. We haven't won much recently, and we're trying to do our best to play together for our country. Everyone tried hard and took it to the final over, but unfortunately we couldn't win," he added.
Sri Lanka had almost sealed the game by the 36th over. India were struggling at 193/7 chasing 276 runs. Fast bowlers Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar then held the fort and guided India home with a calm and calculated run chase.
Sri Lanka then succumbed to the pressure and India eventually won with five balls to spare. Player of the Match Deepak Chahar finished on an unbeaten 69 to go along with his two wickets.
Charith Asalanka said that the team wanted to push the game deep at the 40 over stage and were aiming to increase the required run rate to build pressure on team India.
"What we talked about in the 40th over was to push the game deep. We wanted to increase their required rate. But they were successful because they didn't lose any wickets,” Asalanka said.
“They had a plan to play Wanindu (Hasaranga) out defensively and get runs off everyone else, and it worked. If they'd tried to get runs off Wanindu, then maybe they would have lost. I guess the other bowlers have to talk and figure out how to get a wicket in that situation," he added.
Asalanka also admitted that this was an improved performance but they had to work on their fielding and have to find a way to not allow the tail wag.
"We did make some mistakes in the field, and we gave away more than 10 runs in the field. We need to fix that. Nos. 8 and 9 also scored runs, so we have to figure out how to stop that as well," Asalanka said.