India made light work of Sri Lanka as the hosts completed a resounding 78-run victory at the MCA Stadium, Pune. With the hammering, Virat Kohli’s men secured the three-match T20I series 2-0. Indian openers provided a strong start and it set a foundation for a mammoth win which the bowlers completed. Shardul Thakur was named the Man of the Match for his all-round performance.
Rahul-Dhawan bash Sri Lanka before spinners take over
KL Rahul began in his usual confident manner while Dhawan slowly gathered momentum in his innings. After an early reprieve at deep square leg, the Delhi opener broke loose and smashed a flurry of boundaries. Sri Lankan bowlers had to bear the punishment as Dhawan and Rahul went after the pace bowling. The left-hander eventually fell to Lakshan Sandakan and it started a collapse.
India decided to test their bench strength in the final T20I versus Sri Lanka. Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey made their much-awaited return. Samson came out to bat at number three. He smashed a six on the first ball he faced but was adjudged LBW on the second. Sandakan then gobbled both Rahul and Shreyas Iyer in one over to reduce India to 122/4.
Shardul the saviour
Virat Kohli came out to bat at number six. He and Pandey began the recovery process without letting the scoring rate go down. The captain misjudged a run and had to go back to the pavilion after adding 26 from 17 balls. The surprise package of the match was Shardul Thakur. Batting at number eight, he slammed 22 runs from just eight balls. He along with aggression from Pandey carried India past 200. Sandakan finished with the figures of 3/35.
Mathews-de Silva wage a lost battle
Sri Lanka suffered a disastrous start as they lost the opener Danushka Gunathilaka in the first over itself. The top order fell apart against India’s pace attack of Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini and Thakur as they crumbled to 26/4. Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva came together at this delicate stage and attempted the chase. The duo added 68 runs for the fifth wicket but Washington Sundar removed the senior batsman. The dismissal of Mathews broke the back of Sri Lankan batting unit. They soon collapsed to 123 all out in just 15.5 overs. Saini captured three wickets while conceding 28 runs.