3rd T20I: India seal series against Sri Lanka

2020-01-11 at 07:27

India openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan both hit half-centuries as their side beat Sri Lanka by 78 runs in Pune to clinch a 2-0 victory in their T20I series.

Rahul (54 from 36 balls) and Dhawan (52 from 36) shared a partnership of 97 to lay the foundations for a commanding total of 201-6 after India had been asked to bat.

That target always looked beyond Sri Lanka, who lost early wickets in reply and, despite a classy knock of 57 from Dhananjaya de Silva, they were rolled over for 123 in the 16th over.

Sri Lanka were left ruing a missed opportunity to dismiss Dhawan, who had made just a single when he was dropped on the boundary by Dasun Shanaka.

India’s opening pair took full advantage by scoring freely in the powerplay, although the middle order wobbled as spinner Lakshan Sandakan (3-35) reduced them to 122-4.

However, skipper Virat Kohli smashed 26 from 17 deliveries and a flurry of blows from Manish Pandey (31 not out) and Shardul Thakur (22no) hauled the home side above 200.

Sri Lanka’s hopes of overhauling the hosts’ total were soon in tatters as they lost openers Danushka Gunathilaka (1) and Avnish Fernando (9) within the first two overs of their reply.

That situation worsened as the visitors slid to 26-4, with Oshada Fernando (2) run out and paceman Navdeep Saini getting rid of the dangerous Kusal Perera (7).

Angelo Mathews (31 from 20) and Dhananjaya led a mini-recovery with a partnership of 68 but, once Mathews was caught in the deep off Washington Sundar (2-37), the collapse gathered pace.

Yuzvendra Chahal’s direct throw from mid-off ran out Pinnaduwage de Silva for a duck before Saini (3-28) finished Sri Lanka off with two wickets in the space of three deliveries.

That crowned a successful series for Saini, who had also returned figures of 2-18 to help set up India’s seven-wicket victory at Indore three days earlier.