India vs Sri Lanka | Rohit-Rahul pyrotechnics seal series for India

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India vs Sri Lanka | Rohit-Rahul pyrotechnics seal series for India

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SportsCafe Desk


Though Sri Lanka finally put up a fight with the bat, it came after a carnage from Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, whose 165-run partnership helped India post a score of 260. The visitors could only manage a score of 172 in reply to concede the game by 88 runs and the series with a game to play.

Brief Scores : India 260/5 ( Rohit Sharma 118, KL Rahul 89; Thisara Perera 2/49, Nuwan Pradeep 2/61) beat Sri Lanka 172/9 (Kusal Perera 77, Upul Tharanga 47; Yuzvendra Chahal 4/52, Kuldeep Yadav 3/52) by 88 runs.

After winning the toss for the second consecutive time in the series, Sri Lanka asked the hosts to bat first once again, considering the impact of dew. The visitors made two changes to their squad with Sadeera Samarawickrama and Chaturanga de Silva replacing Vishwa Fernando and Dasun Shanaka. India, however, didn’t make any changes and Rohit Sharma also content after being forced to bat first.

Rohit-Rahul brute force paints Indore with sixes

After registering their biggest T20 victory, India were no mood to let the momentum slip away and Rohit made the intentions clear on the very third ball of the over and sent the Angelo Mathews short delivery to the backward point boundary to get going. On the other side, KL Rahul started from where he left off with a Tendulkar-like straight drive to give the Lankans early warning signs. What happened after that was a classic exhibition of timing and stroke-play as the duo blew the Lankan bowlers to smithereens and piled on 59 runs at the end of the power play overs. Akila Dananjaya, who had dismissed Rohit in the final One-Day International in Vizag, also found it difficult to grip the ball and was carted for 16 runs in an over before the duo milked 12 runs in Thisara Perera’s next over. With the dew making the life a tragic one for the bowlers, Rohit and Rahul added insult to injury to lead India to a commanding score of 117 runs at the mid-way mark of the innings.

Sri Lanka bowlers left clueless as India end with 260/5

Sri Lanka were in a desperate search for a solution to the carnage, but their confidence had already received a severe beating and they ended up bowling a touch too full to the bat that the Indian skipper was to so happy to exploit and suddenly, Rahul became a sideshow. The 11th over in the innings came as another validation of the genius of Rohit Sharma as India milked 26 runs with the 30-year-old stroking four consecutive sixes. He seemed flawless and completed the joint fastest century, but, against the run of play, while trying to ramp over short third man, gave a simple catch to Dananjaya, scoring 118 runs, which led the way for MS Dhoni to come out to bat, at the unlikely position of No.3. With India at 165/1 in 12.4 overs, the former skipper decided to mix caution with aggression, rotating the strike with Rahul at every given opportunity while still managing to hit sixes easily. But Rahul thought enough was enough of playing second fiddle and took the big stage to play another memorable innings before getting out for 89 off 49 balls. After his dismissal, India lost wickets in a heap to end with 260/5, that made the run defense nothing but a formality.

Sri Lanka respond to India’s total with fire and brimstone

The run-fest was not over, though, and the Indore faithful was in for some classy batting display from the visitors. Such were the conditions that the Indian seamers had to resort to change of pace quite frequently and the Lankans managed to score 27 runs off the first three overs. However, after trying to play some innovate strokes, Niroshan Dickwella, who was dropped early on by Rahul, gave Pandya an easy catch at deep square leg. His dismissal brought Kusal Perera to the crease, who along with Upul Tharanga, provided an enterprising start and took the team to 61-1 after the end of the Power play. The introduction of Pandya halted the run-scoring rate a bit, but in conditions where dew was bound to make its presence, Kuldeep Yadav rendered ineffective and gave away 29 runs in two overs that led the visitors to pass the 100-run mark in the 10th over of the innings. 

Kuldeep-Chahal finish the game in a flash

Over the next three overs, Sri Lanka added 40 runs to the score and Indian fans would have started to think that the visitors may find their time under the sun. But that was not to be as Yuzvendra Chahal ended Tharanga’s fight by inducing a leading edge to put Sri Lanka at 145-2. That dismissal ensued a trigger collapse that has become a trademark of the team from Emerald Isle. Building on his partner’s success, Kuldeep came in next over to get three Lankan batsmen out to put them in a point of no return. If that was not enough by the duo, the Haryana leggie picked up the next three wickets in his next over to send the Holkar crowd to a dizzy state of excitement. With Angelo Mathews being absent hurt, Hardik Pandya wrapped up the proceeding dismissing Dushmantha Chameera to hand India an 88-run victory. 

Lasith Malinga or Bhuvneshwar Kumar? Who will take more wickets?

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