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India takes lead with 6 wicket win over Sri Lanka


India moved a step closer to the final of the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series with a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Colombo, yesterday.

Chasing 153, in a rain-reduced 19-overs-a-side contest, India reached their target with nine balls to spare – Manish Pandey top-scoring, smashing an unbeaten 42 off 31 balls – to secure a second win in three and move clear of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, who have one win apiece.

After wet weather delayed the start of the game, India won the toss and elected to field first but, despite early wickets of Danushka Gunathilaka (17) and Kusal Perera (3), Sri Lanka made a positive start.

Kusal Mendis (55 off 38 balls) struck a fine fifty, putting on 62 for the third wicket with Upal Tharanga (22) to see the home side well placed at 96-2 in the 11th over.

But, the wheels fell off with Tharanga’s dismissal and Sri Lanka proceeded to lose a further six wickers for 44 runs over the last eight overs to finish with a disappointing 152-9 – Shardul Thakur taking 4-27.

In reply, India lost openers Rohit Sharma (11) and Shikhar Dhawan (8) cheaply, but Suresh Raina’s 15-ball 27 got their chase up and running, before Pandey teed off, ably supported by Dinesh Karthik (39no off 25), to take the team home to victory.

The Nidahas Trophy is being played to commemorate Sri Lanka’s 70th year of independence.

Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh will face each other twice in the group phase before the top two meet in the final on March 18.

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