In a lackluster batting display with the exception of Charith Asalanka who made 44 off 26, Sri Lanka went down to India by 38 runs bowled out for 126 in 18.3 overs chasing the visitors 164 for 5 in the T20 opener yesterday at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
The Lankan innings fell apart but forthe swagger of the left-handed Asalanka tucked into 3 sixes and 3 boundaries who lacked the desired support which must have left the Lankan camp ruing the decision of going into the match minus Bhanuka Rajapaksa who scored a match winning 65 in Friday’s final ODI. As it was, only two other batsmen Avishka Fernando 26 and skipper Dasun Shanaka 16 got into double figures as wickets fell like nine pins with the last six managing just 36 runs in the face of a 4-wicket burst for 22 runs by strike bowler Buvaneshwar Kumar who pocketed the Player of the Match award. He was well supported by Deepak Chahar who took 2 for 24 as Sri Lanka precipitade from 4 for 90 after 12 overs. With the asking rate going up with 75 needed off 48 balls it was good as over when Charith Asalanka was fifth out with the total 111 after 15.3 overs.
It was a gallant display by the Indian batsmen braving the early hiccup of Prithvi Shaw’s wicket with no runs on the board when Dushmantha Chameera had him caught behind by Minod Bhanuka off the very first ball of the innings. But skipper Shikhar Dhawan stood firm in a 51-run repair job off 37 deliveries. Dhawan, went on to score 46 off 36 balls inclusive of 4 boundaries and a six Samson made 27 off 20 (2×4, 1×6) before falling leg before wicket to Wanindu Hasaranga. Dhawan continued the good work adding a further 62 runs for the third wicket with Suriyakumar Yadav off 48 balls before mistiming a pull that landed in the hands of Ashen Bandara off Chamika Karunaratne. Suriyakumar Yadav went on to top score with 50 off 34 balls with 5 boundaries and 2 sixes before being deceived by the pace by Hasaranga to spooning a catch to substitute Ramesh Mendis at long off. At that stage India were 127 for 4 after 15.2 overs before the fifth wicket pair of Hardik Pandya who made 10 off 12 and Ishan Kishan an unbeaten 20 off 14 (1×4, 1×6) added 26 runs to closing on 164 with Krunai Pandya remaining unbeaten on 3 after Chameera had Pandya caught behind by Bhanuka.
Dushmantha Chameera claimed 2 for 24 and Wanindu Hasaranga 2 for 28.
India 164/5 (20 Overs) RR: 8.20
(Suriyakumar Yadav 50, Shikhar Dhawan 46, Sanju Samson 27, Ishan Kishan n.o. 20, Hardik Pandya 10, Krunai Pandya n.o. 3, Dushmantha Chameera claimed 2 for 24 and Wanindu Hasaranga 2/28, Chamika Karunaratne 1/34)
Sri Lanka 126 (18.3 Overs) RR: 6.81
(Charith Asalanka 44, Avishka Fernando 26, Dasun Shanaka 16, Buvaneshkkumar 4/22, Deepak Chahar 2/24, Krunai Pandya 1/16, Hardik Pandya 1/17, Yuzvendra Chahal 1/19, Varun Chakravarthy 1/28)