Sri Lanka thrashed India by 7 wkts win T20I series 2-1
It was a total batting carnage at the Premadasa stadium at Colombo from India after they won the toss and batted on a pitch which was difficult for strokeplay but not unplayable. The covid related isolations of 9 mostly frontline players had finally taken a heavy toll on a team which prided on its reserve bench strength.
With the residue players available, the batting depth proved to be very shallow with only 5 frontline batsmen and only one bowling allrounder who is not a swashbuckling T20 batsman. This finally resulted in inexperienced players like Gaekwad, Paddikal, Rana not been able to freely express themselves as fall of wickets would mean a big batting collapse, exactly what happened in the final T20I. Sri Lanka thrashed India by 7 wkts win T20I series 2-1.
India batted first and was dealt a rude shock in the first over with the fall of the captain Shikhar Dhawan to a fine away going delivery from a fast-maturing Dushmanta Chameera which he edged to slip. India could never recover from that shock.
Devdutt Paddikal looked out of place and was unable to read the spinners. Finally, Mendis gave him the reprieve by getting him lbw for 9. Much was expect of Sanju Samson (0) who followed suit totally flummoxed by birthday boy Hasaranga’s googly to be out lbw and from that success Hasaranga took over the game.
Ruturaj (14) was looking well balanced and the best man to bat longer. But fail to read another in coming ball from Hasaranga and Rana(6) was caught and bowl brilliantly by Shanaka to leave India in total disarray at 36/5 in 9 overs.
Bhuvneshwar (16) and Kuldeep (23no) batted sensibly till Bhuvi tried to drive Hasaranga. And was caught at short cover brilliantly by Shanaka. The rest could not offer much in terms of quick runs as India limped to 81/8 and just about played out the 20 overs.
For Sri Lanka, Hasaranga (4/9) was outstanding with his skills and all other bowlers played their part. The Sri Lankan spinners exposed the current generation Indian batsmen’s weakness of playing spin bowling on slightly more difficult tracks.
Chasing a small target, Sri Lanka had a cautious start in the powerplay moving to 23/0 but looked ruffled whenever Rahul Chahar came onto bowl. Therefore, Even with such a small target to defend Chahar look a class above the other Indian spinners and got in form Aviskha (12) caught and bowl with variation of pace. His skills with the ball was outstanding as he looked ominous and soon got Bhanuka (18) lbw. The other bowlers were less threatening as Dhananjaya D Silva looked in control. Though Chahar managed another wicket, Dhananjaya (24no) and Hasaranga (14no) took Sri Lanka home in the 15th over to win by 7 wickets.
While the Indian reserve bench did not cover themselves in the last 2 T20Is. With glory after 8 top players went into isolation. This win will pump up Sri Lankan cricket as they suddenly found some promise amongst many of their players. Who have enhanced their reputations. Hasaranga was outstanding, Aviskha, Chameera, Karunaratne, Dhananjaya, Bhanuka enhance their reputations while Rajpaksha and Asalanka were impressive before they got injured and could not play final two T20Is. However, Sri Lanka too were without 6 or 7 of their top players in this 6 match white ball series with India. Hence they will take some confidence from both the ODI & T20 series win.
Moreover this is Sri Lanka’s first bilateral series win vs India in any format after 2008
Hasaranga for his excellency of performance was both the man of the match and man of the series.
Sri Lanka won by 7 wkts
IND 81/8 (20 Ovs)
Kuldeep Yadav. 23*(28)
Hasaranga. 4/9, Shanaka. 2/20
SL 82/3 (14.3 Ovs)
de Silva. 23*(20)
M Bhanuka(wk). 18(27)
Rahul Chahar. 3/15