Sri Lanka 206 for 6 (Shanaka 56*, Kosal 52, Malik 3-48, Aksar 2-24) India 190 for 8 (Aksar 65, Surya Kumar 51, Shanaka 2-4, Rajitha 2-22) by 16 runs
However, with India needing 21 runs to win in the last over, Shanaka took the ball for his first over, took two wickets and helped his team cross the line.
Koselmandes starts in fifth gear before the onslaught of spinners.
It started well enough for India. He won the toss and later managed to bowl first to avoid fielding in the dew. Hardik Pandya bowled the first over and conceded just two runs. And then it all went downhill. Mendes ran riot as Sri Lanka scored 45 runs in the next three overs to send panic into the Indian camp. Mendes scored a fifty off 27 balls.
Hardik had to rely on his spinners to pull things back. Aksar and Yuzvinder Chahal capped the score and took wickets at the same time. Both conceded just 54 runs in their eight overs.
The Story of Arshaddeep and Five No-Balls
Arsdeep has not played competitive cricket since the last ODI against New Zealand on November 30 and was bound to be rusty in this T20I. He was introduced in the second over and started off with a half volley on the pads that clipped square leg. No fuss – the first ball comes after a fairly long interval. The next four balls went for just one run. Then began the inexplicable nine-ball saga – three on the bounce in his first over. The first was sprayed down leg, the next was flicked to deep backward square leg for four and the third smoked over the fielder in the same area.
Arsdeep wasn’t brought back in until the 19th over, and when he was, the awful nine balls continued. He bowled two more balls – one of which Shanaka was caught at long-on – to finish with figures of 37 runs in two overs. His five no balls changed the complexion of the game.
Shanaka maintains his dominance over India.
When the Sri Lankan captain got out in the middle, his team was reeling at 110 for 4 in the 14th over. He then saw Charith Asalanka and Venindu Hasringa fall to Imran Malik on successive deliveries and faced a hat-trick ball. One that he bowled straight over the bowler’s head. There was no stopping Shanaka on this. He completed his fifty in 20 balls, the fastest by a Sri Lankan in men’s T20Is, as he scored 93 runs in the last six overs. Later, when the chase became difficult, he took charge of the last over, taking two wickets for four runs.
Sri Lanka’s fast bowlers blew away India’s top order.
Seeing how Sri Lanka finished their innings would have given India’s top order hope that Pune’s surface is full of runs. They were in for a rude awakening. The Sri Lankan fast bowlers bowled with gusto and caused the batsmen all kinds of trouble. By the end of the Powerplay, the hosts were reduced to 39 for 4, with Dilshan Madhushanka, Kisan Rajitha and Chamika Karunaratne on the board.
Axar, Suryakumar stage a fight to remember.
India were reduced to 64 runs for the loss of 5 wickets after 10 overs. With a long tail to follow, a heavy defeat seemed imminent. Then came the run-out opportunity, which saw Akshar and Surya Kumar almost at the same end. Sri Lanka fell short, and he made a switch. Both Suryakumar and Akshar went for their shots as if it was a two man affair. Not a single Sri Lankan bowler was spared and the required rate of around 15 was being managed well. Axar scored his fifty in 20 balls, Surya Kumar scored his half-century in 33 balls. Ultimately, though, the target was too big to scale.