DAMBULLA (Sri Lanka) (AFP) - Mahendra Singh Dhoni capped Zaheer Khan's devastating spell with a crucial 39 as India posted a tense three-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second one-day international here on Wednesday. Left-arm seamer Zaheer ran through the top order in his incisive opening spell to finish with 4-21 as India bundled Sri Lanka out for a meagre 142. He was brilliantly backed by paceman Praveen Kumar (3-34). But India skipped a few heartbeats before achieving the modest target with more than 10 overs to spare to level the five-match series 1-1.They were wobbling at 75-5 after seamers Thilan Thushara and Nuwan Kulasekara shared four wickets, but skipper Dhoni and debutant Subramaniam Badrinath (27 not out) held their nerve under pressure.When Dhoni inside-edged paceman Dilhara Fernando's delivery on to his stumps, his team were just eight runs short of the win with four wickets in hand. "Zaheer did the job for us as he bowled in right areas. Credit also goes to Badrinath as he had not played Sri Lankan spinners Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan before," said Dhoni. "We needed this victory. There was pressure on us, especially after losing opener Gautam Gambhir (stiff neck) before the match. We would have liked to win comfortably, but in the end it is about winning." Unorthodox Sri Lankan spinner Mendis yet again made the Indian batsmen struggle for runs with shrewd variations, getting the big wicket of Yuvraj Singh before finishing with 2-22 off 10 overs.Yuvraj (20) tried to ease the pressure by smashing Thushara for three fours in two overs, but his flourish did not last long. He was trapped leg-before by Mendis to leave his team wobbling at 52-3. India appeared to have squandered the advantage given by Zaheer when they lost makeshift opener Irfan Pathan and Suresh Raina in Kulasekara's opening spell and then Virat Kohli (37) and Rohit Sharma in Thushara's one over. Dhoni and Badrinath then applied themselves well to add 60 for the sixth wicket which proved vital in a low-scoring game. "We knew we could win this match only by getting wickets. We tried hard, but Dhoni and Badrinath batted really well and their partnership took the game away from us," said Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene. Sri Lanka were earlier in danger of falling to their lowest-ever total of 96 against India when they were reduced to 44-6, but Thushara (44) and Kulasekara (25) rallied their side with a defiant 74-run stand. The Indian skipper's decision to put the hosts in to bat after winning the toss produced instant results as Zaheer bowled Kumar Sangakkara with his sixth delivery which moved in sharply to hit the off-stump. Man-of-the-match Zaheer claimed two wickets in his third over, removing in-form Jayawardene and Chamara Kapugedera. "The important thing was to be consistent and bowl in right areas," said Zaheer. "As a spearhead of the attack, it was important for me to provide early breakthroughs. All the bowlers did well and kept pressure on their batsmen." Kumar had Chamara Silva caught by Kohli at point to reduce the hosts to 11-4. He also ended Sri Lanka's fightback when he dismissed Thushara and Kulasekara in the same over. Sri Lanka's aggressive opener Sanath Jayasuriya, watching the disaster unfold from one end, was not allowed to play strokes as he faced 37 balls for his 13 runs before being trapped leg-before by Zaheer. Tillakaratne Dilshan (16), the last specialist batsman, was caught by a diving Badrinath at deep midwicket off a mistimed pull off seamer Irfan Pathan. Sri Lanka named Fernando in their playing eleven in place of left-arm seamer Chaminda Vaas, who missed the match due to a hamstring injury. The third match will be played in Colombo on Sunday. SCOREBOARD SRI LANKA: S. Jayasuriya lbw b Zaheer     13 K. Sangakkara b Zaheer     2 M. Jayawardene c Yuvraj b Zaheer     2 C. Kapugedera c Dhoni b Zaheer     0 C. Silva c Kohli b Kumar     0 T. Dilshan c Badrinath b Pathan     16 N. Kulasekara c Badrinath b Kumar     25 T. Thushara c Kohli b Kumar     44 A. Mendis c and b Harbhajan     0 D. Fernando c Kohli b Harbhajan     12 M. Muralitharan not out     11 EXTRAS: (lb6, w11)     17 TOTAL: (for all out)     142 Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Sangakkara), 2-10 (Jayawardene), 3-10 (Kapugedera), 4-11 (Silva), 5-33 (Jayasuriya), 6-44 (Dilshan), 7-118 (Thushara), 8-118 (Kulasekara), 9-122 (Mendis), 10-142 (Fernando). BOWLING: Kumar     10-2-34-3 Zaheer     9.5-3-21-4 Patel     6-1-24-0 Pathan     5-0-21-1 (w3) Harbhajan     5.4-0-26-2 (w7) Yuvraj     2-0-10-0 (w1). Overs:     38.3 INDIA: I. Pathan c Sangakkara b Kulasekara     5 V. Kohli c Kapugedera b Thushara     37 S. Raina lbw b Kulasekara     1 Y. Singh lbw b Mendis     20 MS Dhoni b Fernando     39 R. Sharma lbw b Thushara     0 S. Badrinath not out     27 H. Singh lbw b Mendis     1 Z. Khan not out     2 EXTRAS: (b3, lb4, nb2, w2)     11 TOTAL: (for seven wickets)     143 Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Pathan), 2-16 (Raina), 3-52 (Yuvraj), 4-75 (Kohli), 5-75 (Sharma), 6-135 (Dhoni), 7-139 (Harbhajan). BOWLING: Kulasekara     9-2-26-2 Thushara     7-1-32-2 (w2) Mendis     10-1-22-2 Fernando     5-0-25-1 (nb2) Muralitharan     8.4-0-31-0. Overs:     39.4 Result: India win by three wickets Toss: India; Umpires: Billy Doctrove (WIS) and Gamini Silva (SRI) TV umpire: Tyron Wijewardene (SRI) Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG) Third one-dayer: Colombo (Sunday)