India vs Sri Lanka | “Chasemaster” Kohli leads India to another convincing win

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India vs Sri Lanka | “Chasemaster” Kohli leads India to another convincing win

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SportsCafe Desk


Virat Kohli (82) led India to yet another successful run chase, ensuring that the visitors won all their matches in Sri Lanka. Earlier, Yuzvendra Chahal (3/43) and Kuldeep Yadav (2/20) restricted the hosts to 170, but Kohli’s 119-run partnership with Manish Pandey ensured an easy win for India.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 170/7 (Dilshan Munaweera 53, Ashan Priyanjan 40*; Yuzvendra Chahal 3/43, Kuldeep Yadav 2/20) lost to India 174/3 (Virat Kohli 82, Manish Pandey 51*; Seekkuge Prasanna 1/25) by 7 wickets.

India won the toss of the only T20I of the tour and invited the hosts to bat first. India made two changes with Axar Patel and KL Rahul replacing Shardul Thakur and Ajinkya Rahane. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, included Seekkuge Prasanna, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka and Isuru Udana in the hope of the elusive win. 

Dickwella and Munaweera put Sri Lanka in charge

Upul Tharanga and Niroshan Dickwella opened the Sri Lankan innings and started off slowly taking just four runs off Bhuvneshwar Kumar who opened the bowling for the visitors. Dickwella targeted Jasprit Bumrah as he hit the Indian pacer for three back to back boundaries to take the score to 19/0 after two overs. In the very next over, Kumar brought India the success they desperately needed by cleaning up Tharanga but he failed to stem the run flow and conceded another 13 runs. With the Lankans scoring at over 10 runs an over, Virat Kohli introduced Chahal but the move backfired as the incoming Dilshan Munaweera smashed him for two sixes off his first two balls. Kohli brought Bumrah back into the attack and the ODI man of the series winner didn’t disappoint his captain, disturbing the Dickwella’s woodwork. Sri Lanka lost wickets but it didn’t affect them as they maintained the rhythm to score boundaries as Axar Patel conceded 13 runs which resulted in 60/2 at the end of the powerplay. Even though MS Dhoni’s quick work behind the stumps sent Angelo Mathews back, the Sri Lankan batsmen, especially Munaweera, guided the hosts to 90/3 at the midway point of the game.

Chahal and Yadav restrict Sri Lanka to a par score

Before being bowled by Kuldeep Yadav, Munaweera completed his maiden T20 half century which helped the host to cross 100-run mark by the end of 12 overs. Chahal, bowling his last over, came to India’s rescue as not only did he claim Perera’s wicket, the leggie didn’t give Shanaka any time to settle and in three balls sent the 25-year-old packing, which turned the game in India’s favour with the scoreboard reading 113/6 at the end of 14 overs. Over the next two overs, Sri Lanka failed to score a boundary but they still managed 14 runs by rotating the strike well. Yadav got his second of the day in the form of Prasanna’s wicket at deep midwicket on Yadav’s delivery. Udana’s six at the last ball of the 18th over helped Sri Lanka to reach 144/7, raising the hopes and voices of the spectators in Colombo. In the penultimate over, Udana targeted Bumrah and with the help of a couple of boundaries managed to take 13 runs off the pacer. Priyanjan and Udana’s 20 ball-36 run partnership helped Sri Lanka reach a competitive score 170/7 in the allotted 20 overs.

Kohli and Pandey lead recovery after early wickets

KL Rahul was chosen as the opening partner for Rohit Sharma while Mathews took the responsibility of bowling the first over but ended up conceding 12 runs. With another 9 runs coming the next over, India looked comfortable in chasing down the 171 target in front of them. But Lasith Malinga came in as a saviour for Sri Lanka as he gave them the first breakthrough in the form of Sharma, who tried to pull a short ball but could only hit it as far as mid-on. Kohli and Rahul showed fantastic running between the wicket but Shanaka’s outstanding catch at short extra cover meant that Rahul’s terrible tour of Sri Lanka continued as India reached 43/2 at the end of powerplay. Manish Pandey came in to join his captain, who was playing his 50th T20I, on the crease and the duo managed 14 runs in the next two overs which took the score 57/2 at the end of eight overs. Sri Lankan skipper introduced Akila Dananjaya in the hope of a wicket but he leaked 10 runs which was followed by Perera being thrashed for three boundaries which helped India reach 82/2 at the midway point of the chase. 

India complete perfect tour with T20 win 

India needed 89 runs off the next 60 deliveries and both the batsmen kept the scoreboard ticking whilst putting the bad balls away to the boundaries. This was highlighted in the 12th over, bowled by Mathews, when the duo added 17 runs, crossing the 100 run mark in the process. Kohli continued his fantastic form in Sri Lanka as he completed his half century in the next over. By the 15th over, India were in complete control with the scoreboard reading 133/2, needing just 38 runs in 30 balls. The Sri Lankan skipper, out of desperation, handed ball to Malinga but not only did he fail to break the partnership, he ended up conceding 9 runs. With a perfect tour in sight, Kohli and Pandey scored 18 runs off two overs to bring the equation to just 11 needed off 12 balls. Finally Udana sent Kohli back to the pavilion but it was too late for Sri Lanka as Pandey (51*) finished the game off with a boundary to secure the win by 7 wickets.

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