India were the hot favourites but lost Prithvi Shaw on the first ball of the match and made a cagey approach for the next few overs. Sanju Samson though couldn’t hold himself back and started playing his shots. Just when he started looking good, he was undone by a googly from Hasaranga. Dhawan played the perfect sheet anchor role as Surya Kumar Yadav did what he does the best.
Started taking on the opposition after having some sighters. Once he started hitting, it was difficult to stop him and got out after completion of his 50. His knock was crucial as India didn’t look like they will surpass 150, had he not played that innings.
Shikhar Dhawan and Surya getting out in quick succession opened the door for hard hitting Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan. Ishan Kishan remained not out on 20 from 14 while Hardik Pandya struggled big time as he could only manage 10 of 12 deliveries before getting out in the penultimate over. Krunal Pandya also couldn’t time the ball and just took singles off the final over of the innings. India’s made a competitive score of 164 and that looked enough with the kind of pitch and big boundaries at R. Premadasa Stadium.
Sri Lanka started well but Shikhar Dhawan’s trick of making Krunal bowl in the powerplay worked as he got rid of dangerous-looking MinodBhanuka in the third over. Sri Lanka was 48-1 after the powerplay and looked like they will cruise pass India’s total but then Chahal did his trick and bowled Dhananjay who was building pressure on his partner by not being able to connect the balls.
In the very next over Bhuvi got the better of Avishka who was the second-highest scorer for Sri Lanka. At 50-3, the match looked firm on India’s grip and Indian bowlers made sure that they are always on top of the Lankan’s batsmen. Ashen Bandara who could only manage 9 of 19 balls finally got out after making sure that Sri Lanka could never chase this target. Captain Dasun Shanaka and Charith Asalanka tried their best to up the ante but perished in the process.
After that, though it was just a formality as Sri Lanka lost the last 6 wickets at just 36 runs. All the bowlers had at least 1 wicket and Chahal was the most economical one. The debutant Varun Chakravarthy also bowled well and has thrown his card for the upcoming world cup team.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar after taking some pounding in the ODI series finally got to his own and took 4 important wickets. For his performance, he has adjourned the Man of the Match though many felt that it was Surya Kumar Yadav who deserved it more than anyone else.
Bhuvi’s partner, Deepak Chahar too took 2 wickets and left no scope for anyone else to take their place in the second match at least. India would first like to seal the series and then try out other players would be the idea of playing the team they played in the first T20I. Hardik Pandya thus far has been the biggest dud and all eyes would be on him to perform in the second match.