An under-strength Indian side felt the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah dearly as the bowlers crumbled in the face of Kusal Perera’s merciless onslaught. Earlier, India had managed to pose a target of 175, courtesy of Shikhar Dhawan’s blazing 90-run knock, after a top-order collapse.
Pandey, Dhawan hold mast steady after an early collapse
Rohit Sharma had a nightmarish start to the tri-series as a captain as he fell prey to Dushmantha
Dhawan’s blazing 90 helps India put up a competitive target
Dhawan brought up his fifth T20I fifty in the next over, which seemed to signal a change in gears. The urgency to up the ante was clearly seen as both the batsmen were seen flashing the blade at everything. And after Thisara Perera was hit for two boundaries in the 12th over, India’s adventurous approach cost them again, as Pandey lost his wicket in the 13th over. With overs depleting, India had no other choice but to go at everything and both Dhawan and Rishabh Pant went for maximums in the 15th over as India reached 124/3. Dhawan continued the onslaught, hitting three sixes in the next two overs. However, with two overs to go, the southpaw eventually fell to Perera’s delivery, reducing India to 153/4 in the 18th over. With the track evidently helping the bowlers, Dinesh Karthik and Pant knew 170 would be competitive and they went for it in the penultimate over. India snatched 14 runs, including three boundaries, as they ended the innings at 174/5.
Indian bowlers bow to Perera’s pyrotechnics
India’s primary target was to limit the hosts to as less as possible in the powerplay and they failed terribly in that task. Jaydev Unadkat started the second innings on a positive note as he restricted Sri Lanka to just six runs in the first over. But, it was the wicket of Kusal Mendis on the third ball of the second over that made the difference, as Kusal Perera came in next. After sending Sundar for a six on his second ball, the explosive batsman decided to take on first change, Shardul Thakur, and the hapless pacer was
Thisara Perera completes Sri Lanka’s victory in
Tharanga and Perera refused to lift their feet off the pedal as Sri Lanka continued their explosive hitting with two sixes and boundary in the next two overs. India
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