India after having won the toss decided to bat first. India didn’t start bad as they lost Dhawan early but Prithvi Shaw and Sanju Samson kept playing their shots before getting out on 49 and 46 respectively. India had as many as 5 debutants going into the match. Manish Pandey was again miserable with the bat as he yet again got out cheaply.
This was his chance to redeem himself but he failed but Surya Kumar Yadav was again at his best but couldn’t read a ball from Dhanjaya and got out on 40. It was all over then for India as they lost wickets in clusters and from 188-3 to 195-8. Nitish Rana and Krishnappa Gowtham who were playing their debut match struggled to get going and scored just 7 and 2 respectively.
Rahul Chahar and Navdeep Saini kept taking 3s and 4s from an over and just when it looked like they will take India’s score to 240 they both got out in trying to up the ante and India were all-out on 225. A very poor show from India and defending such a total with lesser experienced bowlers were always going to be a challenge.
Sri Lanka started off their innings by scoring at will and were 35 in the first 5. Gowtham out the breaks on by MinodBhanuka. Bhanuka Rajapaksha who started slowly soon joined forces with Avishka Fernando and played a match-winning knock of 65. Dhananjaya De Silve got out cheaply and brought India back in the game. Avishka Fernando and Charith Asalanka though had a good partnership and made sure that Sri Lanka will cross the line with ease.
However, Sri Lanka is Sri Lanka started losing wickets as Rahul Chahar picked 3 wickets of his last 3 overs and raised some hopes. It was Sri Lanka’s day though as Ramesh Mendis stood his ground and made sure that his team crosses the line after a long while. The debutant Chetan Sakariya was impressive as he took 2 crucial wickets and showed what he has got.
The series though was already won by India and super league points that Sri Lanka earned through this match will help them to get past the qualifying line. Avishka Fernando was awarded the man of the match while Surya Kumar Yadav won the Man of the Series award in his very first series. He was disappointed on missing out today but said will work hard to make sure his team has the upper hands in the T20Is.
The T20I series will begin from Sunday and India will go with a settled 11 as most of them have played T20Is before. The openers will remain the same that we had in the ODI series but might see some changes in the middle order as Manish Pandey looks like, he will miss out. In bowling, Bhuvneshwar might be back and might see one from Yuzi or Kuldeep back in the mix again. Sri Lanka too will take the momentum forward and will be nice to see what they have in store for the T20I leg of the series.