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July 29, 2021
Dhananjaya de Silva bats Sri Lanka to victory with unbeaten 40 with two balls to spare

Sri Lanka Cricket

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Bravo Sri Lanka, win they did in a nail biting finish with two balls to spare the decisive second game to keep the 3-match T20 series on a 1-all even keel with vice-captain Dhananjaya de Silva hitting the winning run with two balls to spare in going past India’s challenging 133-run target further depleted as they were minus four frontline players through Covid isolation at the R. Premadasa Stadium yesterday. Sri Lanka 133 for 6 after 19.4 to India’s 132 for 5 after 20.

Requiring 12 off 9 balls, the De Silva-Chamika Karunaratne seventh-wicket pair rallied the side through after the fast-bowling all-rounder had struck Buvaneshvar Kumar for a decisive six over mid-on off the third delivery of the penultimate over. De Silva finished on an unbeaten 40 off 34 hitting just the boundary and a six while the 25 -year old Karunaratne, who has proved to be a worthy discovery through the tours of Bangladesh, England and versus the Indians for his forceful batting at No.8., was unbeaten on 12. The duo took up the charge when the contest dangled with Sri Lanka needing 20 with two overs to go. 


If Karunaratne came into the measure of holding the late order together, the triumph signaled a defining innings of character by Dhananjaya de Silva in a sheet anchor Player of the Match role that carried the side through a tide of uncertainty of 3 for 55 after 9.1 overs at the fall of skipper Dasun Shanaka’s wicket for 3 who was stumped by Ssmson off Kuldip Yadav. Nine runs later. opening batsman Minod Bhanuka exited for a well carved 36 off 31 having hit four boundaries after Avishka Fernando had gone for 11 caught by Chahar off Kumar – 1 for 8 2.4 overs – and Sadeera Samarawickrama, who was in for the injured Bhanuka Rajapaksa, had been bowled by Varun for 8 – 2 for 39 by the 6th over. 

De Silva added 28 runs for the fifth wicket with Wanindu Hasaranga who made 15 off 11 inclusive of two boundaries – 94 for 5 after 14. Ramesh Mendis was sent back for 2 by Sakariya to a catch to Gaikwad – 6 for 105 after 17.2. It brought Karunaratne with 28 required off 16 deliveries from where his 12 off 6 heightened by the decisive six took Sri Lanka to the victory post with Dhananjaya de Silva fittingly putting the icing on the cake for India hitting the winning run.

The Indian innings revolved around a top score of 40 off 42 (5×4) by skipper Shikhar Dhawan as they reached 99 for 3 after after 15.3 overs with Ruturaj Gaikwad 21 off 18 (1×4), Devdutt Padikkai 29 off 23 (1×4, 1×6) contributing to that score as the replacements for Prithvi Shaw and Suriyakumar Yadav did a fair job. Others on the isolation list were Ishan Kishan and the Pandya brothers, The first Indian wicket to fall was that of Gaikwad caught behind by Minod Bhanuka off skipper Dasun Shanaka with the total 49 after 6 overs. Dhawan continued to carry the fight to the Lankans adding a further 32 runs for the second wicket when he was bowled by Akila Dananjaya deceived by the turn – 2 for 81 after 12.1. It became 99 for 3 when Wanindu Hasaranga crept one in through the defence of Devdutt Padikkai to bowl him. Akila Dananjaya then clean bowled Sanju Samson for 7 – 4 for 104 after 16.4 before Nitish Rana and Buvaneshwar Kumar took the score to 130 after 19.4 when the former was claimed by Dushmantha Chameera who had him caught by Dhananjaya de Silva for 9. 

Akila Dananjaya was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers with 2 for 29.

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