Cricket is all about heroics in the ecstasy to agony of fluctuating fortunes in its heartthrobbing drama, sometimes invariably confined to the the valiant in defeat as it has historically been in superseding other sports. Dasun Shanaka’s Sunday magic 38-ball unbeaten 74 was destined to be so in Sri Lanka’s 6-wicket lnss to India in the third and final T20 at the Dharmasala Grounds. Indeed, like in this gloriously fascinating bat versus ball game befittingly descriptive in the slogan word of the breathtaking, the name of Sri Lankan Skipper Dasun Shanaka will remain in the realms of simply great deeds. Taking strike with the frontline of the Lankan batting destructed to 5 wickets for 60 runs by a rampaging Indian attack there was Shanaka rising like cricket’s shining knight, his armour the wielding willow taking on et all in a 86-run sixth wicket stand with Chamika Karunaratne.
That the hard hitting Karunaratne played a passive unbeaten 12 off 14 as his skipper cut loose reflected how dominant Shanaka was in the glitz of 9 boundaries and 2 over the top. That Shanaka’s èffort was torpedoed for a second time as previously by India’s new wonder boy Shreyas Iyer who struck an unbeaten 73 with an equal number of boundaries as the Lankan captain, and a six in the Indian’s 45-ball match winning Player of the Match knock had everything to do with the virtual entire Sri Lankan frontline top five failing to deliver was the separating thin defining border line that denied Shanaka the deserving glory. But that it would not be impaled, but endure to posterity of a truly super willow works is the bottom line saga of the herculean in a contest that Sri Lanka’s 146 for 5 off 20 was overshadowed by India’s 148 for 4 off 16.5. Ravindra Jadeja added to that sparkle unbeaten on 22.
Dinesh Chandimal contributed 22 off 27 but not sustainable. In that loss, Sri Lanka’s Dushmantha Chameera did exult in the personal milestone of accounting for India’s new skipper Rohit Sharma for the sixth consecutive time in recent exchanges. Chameera sent back the belligerent Sharma, who holds the record for the fastest century against Sri Lanka, for 5. Lahiru Kumara followed up his 2 wickets in the previous game with 2 for 39.