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India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I: India hits Sri Lanka by 78 races to win series 2-0 News – Cricket


PUNE: Shikhar Dhawan silenced his critics, KL Rahul sizzled as usual and the trio of fast bowling were intimidating India’s 78-race unilateral win over Sri Lanka in the third T20 International on Friday, sealing the series 2-0.


India were sent at bat by Sri Lankan captain Lasith Malinga, but on a flat court, the hosts managed to reach an over 201 pair for 6, largely due to Dhawan (52 out of 36 balls) and Rahul (54 of 36 balls) opening 97 in just under 11 overs.

Shardul Thakur (22 out of 8 balls) used his long handle for good effect and Manish Pandey (31* out of 18 balls) barely showed rust by adding 37 runs in 2.2 final overs to take the score beyond the 200-race mark.

In response, Sri Lanka achieved only 123 runs in 15.5 overs, as there was simply no resistance from the islanders to the Gulf in class being so evident in an unbalanced contest. Eight Sri Lankan batters failed to reach double figures with Dhananjaya De Silva (57) and Angelo Mathews (31) adding 68 for fifth wicket.

They lost four wickets in the powerplay overs and there was no turning back from that position. It was mainly due to the pace and rebound generated by Jasprit Bumrah (1/5 in 2 overs), Shardul Thakur (2/19 in 3 overs) and the ever-improved Navdeep Saini (3/28 in 3.5 overs), who again threw a non-playable yorker to pull out Kusal Perera.

In fact, Captain Virat Kohli could be praised for promoting Sanju Samson (6) and Pandey, who have been on the bench for longer. While Samson fluffed his lines, Pandey did no damage with a useful blow towards the end.

“One thing was always in the back of my head that somewhere I’m going to get a game and I was ready for it. That’s what the coaches told me, too. I had my chance today, I had a good partnership with Shardul,” Pandey said after the game.

“I was batting well in the home season and nets, so I knew I had to be ready when I had my chances. I had to turn in. You’re still working on yourself.”

Put on hit, Dhawan, who has been under pressure for some time, broke seven boundaries and a six in his opening post of 97 runs with the Rahul in a way that also hit an excessive limit along with five fours.

However, the hosts suffered a mid-order collapse with Sri Lankan wrist spinners Wanidu Hasaranga (1-27) and Chinese lakshan Sandakan (3-35) turned his web around the hitters on a flat track.

But Pandey, playing his first match of the tournament, and Thakur, once again reveling in his role as a lower-order pinch hitter, (22 not 8 balls; 1×4, 2×6) ensured that the hosts crossed the 200-run mark.

Rahul set the tone by playing a cut of rival captain Lasith Malinga for his first limit. Dhawan had an early “life”, when Dasun Shanaka dropped one on his deep square leg. Rahul then reached two consecutive limits, both drives, against Angelo Mathews as India ran at 22/0.

Visitors introduced Dhananjaya De Silva in the fourth over, but Dhawan welcomed him with a four over longe. Rahul then sent a full-touch Silva on a long leg for a maximum as India racked up 13 runs in it.

Dhawan changed his gears when he hammered two limits in fifth place when India reached a total of 50 teams.

Making optimal use of life, Dhawan broke four back and back, cutting one over the point back and another through the additional deck of the laymaker Lahiru Kumara. The duo were throughout India, as well as in India after 9 overs were 82/0.

After two quiet overs, Dhawan tore Hasaranga down half wicket for a six.

Shortly after completing his tenth T20I fifty, Dhawan perished after giving a nanny to Dhanushka Gunathilika in front of Sandakan in the middle of a deep wicket. However, their tickets will undoubtedly make Virat Kohli’s choice of Rohit partner Sharma difficult for Australia’s next series.

Sanju Samson (6) had his long-awaited opportunity, as he was promoted to No. 3 and smashed a six on the first ball, but was caught in the front by Hasaranga when India slumped to 106/2.

Sandakan then hooked the hosts by removing Rahul and Shreyas Iyer (4) on the 13th, as the hosts were about to get upset in 122/4. While Rahul was perplexed, Shreyas gave a catch back to Sandakan.

However, Captain Kohli (26 out of 17 off, 2×4; 1×6) and Pandey attempted to collect tickets before Kohli and Washington Sundar (0) were laid off in the 18th over. But Shardul’s slogging surpassed the par-score mark.

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