The Men in Blue proved too strong for the Sri Lankan team as they cruise to an easy 78 runs win in the 3rd T20I match played at MCA Stadium, Pune on Friday.
Sri Lankan captain Lasith Malinga won the toss and decided to field first. KL continued from where he left in the previous match with positive stroke play against the Sri Lankan bowlers. Dhawan who struggled after his comeback also showed his class taking on pacers and spinners. At the end of six overs, India raced to 63 for 0.
After the power play overs, Rahul and Dhawan made the batting look easy which put pressure on the Sri Lankan bowlers. Dhawan reached his fifty first off 34 balls while Rahul also completed his half-century off 34 balls also. Lakshan Sandkan who was drafted in the team got the breakthrough dismissing Dhawan with a good piece of stumping by Kusal Perera. The Indian openers added 97 runs. Sanju Samson was promoted at number 3 hit a six and was dismissed the next ball by Hasaranga. Sandkan and Hasranga bowled with control stopping the momentum of Indian team scoring. Shreyas Iyer was also dismissed after hitting a boundary. Manish Pandey and Kohli steadied the Indian innings taking singles and hitting boundaries.
Kohli and Manish Pandey hit 17 runs off the 17th over which changed the momentum of innings. Kohli was run out trying to steal the 2nd run. Washington Sundar was also dismissed off the very first ball. Shardul Thakur and Manish Pandey provided the impetus for the Indian team 37 runs in 14 balls to give India a total of 201 for 6 in 20 overs. Thakur scored a quickfire 22 off 8 balls while Manish Pandey made 31 in 18 balls.
Chasing 202 runs to win, it was not an ideal start for the visitors as Gunathilka was dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah in the very first over itself. Avishka Fernando hit a six and got out trying to hit from the bowling off Shardul Thakur. A miscommunication ended in run out which resulted in the wicket of Oshando Fernando. Navdeep Saini bowled a yorker to dismiss Kusal Perera to leave Sri Lanka in tatters at 26 for 4.
At the end of six overs, Sri Lanka were struggling at 35 for 4. Dhanjaya de Silva came to the crease and played with positive intent along with Mathews. Both batsmen created pressure on Indian spinners in the form of Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal. As things looked dangerous for Indian team, the off spinner Sundar struck by dismissing Mathews for 31. Mathews and de Silva added 68 runs for the 5th wicket. It was one-way traffic as the Indian bowlers kept picking wickets at regular intervals. On the other Dhanajaya de Silva reached his fifty off just 31 balls. India bowled out Sri Lanka for 123 in 15.5 overs.
India 201 for 6 in 20 overs ( KL Rahul 54, Shikhar Dhawan 52, Sandkan 3/35) beat Sri Lanka 123 in 15.5 overs ( Dhanjaya de Silva 57, Navdeep Saini 3/28, Shardul Thakur 2/19) by 78 runs.
For his all-round performance, Shardul Thakur has been awarded the man of the match. Navdeep Saini named as the man of the series for his superb performance with the ball.