#Shikhar #Dhawan’s fighting knock of 90 runs goes in vain as #Kusal #Perera’s breezy 66 runs guide #Sri #Lanka through a win.
It was a double blow for India and Shikhar Dhawan, first Shikhar missed his maiden century in T20 Internationals and second India lost the match by 5 wickets.
India lost the match due to their poor performance with the bat, apart from Dhawan’s 90 runs knock no one stepped up.
Sri Lanka won the toss and invited India to bat first.
India missed their stars in this match, the opening was no good again. Skipper Rohit Sharma’s poor form continued to hurt India.
Rohit was out in the first over; he looked to play the lofted drive as the ball hit the bottom of the ground and Jeevan Mendis completes a great catch by running behind. Rohit was out for a golden duck.
Then Suresh Raina came in the number 3 position, but he too couldn’t use this batting chance.
Nuwan Pradeep strikes for Sri Lanka, Raina was out on a full toss delivery. He was clean bowled for just 1 run.
But Shikhar Dhawan was going on strong at the other end. He made full use of his good form.
But he needed a good support to carry the innings along; Manish Pandey was the one who provided that support.
Dhawan and Pandey held the Indian innings together after the loss of Raina and Sharma.
India was going along nicely as this partnership between Dhawan and Manish Pandey added 95 runs for the 4th wicket.
When India looked in control, Sri Lanka again made a comeback, Jeevan Mendis was the one to break this huge partnership for the hosts.
Mendis dismissed Pandey for 37 runs, Pandey tried to ride on his luck again but this time he was in a search of big shot he ended up skewing off the bottom and skies it straight to deep mid-wicket and Gunathalika catches it safely to dismiss Pandey.
After Manish Pandey was out, Rishab Pant joined Dhawan and they both start the rebuilding process once again.
After sharing 95 runs with Pandey, Dhawan again shared a 49 run partnership with young Rishab Pant.
Dhawan was the one who looked for proper control amongst the other Indian batsmen.
The 49 run partnership was going on very well, Dhawan looked in sublime form and Pant too complimented Dhawan very well.
But India gets a huge blow towards the end of their innings. After scoring the highest score against Sri Lanka in T20Is, Dhawan was out caught by Perera.
The golden arm from Gunathalika did the trick for Sri Lanka. It was a tried shot from Dhawan, Gunthalika bowls it wide but lack of power in the shot allowed Perera to take a simple catch. Dhawan missed a well deserved century and he became the first Indian to be out in the nervous 90s in T20 International cricket.
India didn’t finish the innings as they would have liked to, Rishab Pant and Dinesh Karthik batted well but they didn’t get the desired runs.
Rishab Pant was out on the last ball of the 20th over, he tried to pull the slower ball from Chameera but gives a simple catch to the fine leg fielder Pradeep. Pant scored 23 runs.
India wanted Dhawan to stay till the end, his dismissal saw India scoring those 20 to 25 runs less than the eventual score.
In the end India managed only 174 runs in their allotted 20 overs.
The Lankans bowled well, they did a good job with the ball in hand.
They were able to restrict the Indian batsmen for less than 200 runs.
Dusmantha Chameera was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka, he picked up 2 wickets for just 33 runs in his quota of 4 overs.
Nuwan Pradeep, Dansuhka Gunathalika and Jeevan Mendis were the other wicket takers for Sri Lanka. They picked up 1 wicket each to their name.
Chasing 175 to win, Sri Lanka didn’t start really well.
The openers added just 12 runs for the first wicket.
Washington Sundar was the one to give the first breakthrough to India. Kusal Mendis tried to hit a biggie but Dhawan caught him with ease. Kusal was out for 11 runs.
Kusal Perera come in to support Gunathalia, they added 58 runs for the 2nd wicket.
Kusal Perera and Gunathalika took on the Indian bowlers with ease.
They targeted India’s inexperienced Shardul Thakur in the 2nd over of their innings. Kusal Perera smashed the young Shardul Thakur all over the park and took 27 runs of his first over.
That shifted the momentum from India in this match; this counter attack from Kusal Perera allowed him to get ahead of the inexperienced Indian bowlers.
Shardul Thakur become just a second Indian to concede most runs in an over in T20 Internationals. Stuart Binny’s 32 runs in an over is still the highest.
The Indian bowlers were getting some pasting from the Lankans, India needed a quick breakthrough to make a comeback.
Jaydev Unadkat was the one who broke this crucial partnership, Gunathalika was out when he tried to make room and loft down the ground but this time he plays it little too early and offers a simple catch to Rishab Pant at mid off. Gunathalika departs after scoring 19 runs.
Skipper Dinesh Chandimal comes to support the attacking Kusal Perera.
Kusal Perera took just 22 balls to reach his fifty. It is 3rd fewest balls from a Sri Lanka. Jayawardene and Kumara Sangkkara took 21 balls each before this.
After Kusal Perera fifty, Sri Lanka gets a huge blow. Their skipper Dinesh Chandimal was undone by Yuzvendra Chahal. Dinesh Chandimal misses a full ball from Chahal and he gets clean bowled for just 14 runs.
Upul Tharanga comes in bat at number 5, he and Kusal Perera bat well for some time.
The target was in the sight for Sri Lanka but India had plenty to do.
But just then Washington Sundar gives India a vital breakthrough. He picked up the dangerous Kusal Perera for 66 runs. Kusal looks to come down the wicket and attack Sundar, by doing so he loses his foot for a second and Dinesh Kartik whipped the bails off.
Dasun Shanaka comes in to support Upul Tharanga. He and Tharanga looked to finish off the game but the Indian bowlers didn’t allowed that to happen.
Yuzvendra Chahal removed Upul Tharanga and opened the door for an Indian win in this match. Tharanga was beaten by drift and lack of pace. He was clean bowled for just 17 runs.
Thisara Perera joined Dasun Shanaka, they both finished the game with ease.
Sri Lanka won the 1st Match of the Nidashas Trophy by 5 wickets,
The Indian bowlers were not good as they usually are. They missed Bhuvi and Bumrah.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar picked up 2 wickets each and Jaydev Unadkat picked up just 1 wicket to his name.
Kusal Perera was the man of the match for his wonderful 66 runs.
Next Match – India Vs Bangladesh 2nd T20I, tomorrow at R Premadasa Stadium.