- Sinchan Saha | January 5, 2023 | 11:52 pm
IND vs SL, 2nd T20I: Sri Lanka 206 for 6 (Shanaka 56*, Kusal 52, Malik 3-48, Axar 2-24) beat India 190 for 8 (Axar 65, Suryakumar 51, Shanaka 2-4, Rajitha 2-22) by 16 runs
In what turned out to be a thrilling match at MCA Stadium in Pune, Axar Patel tried his hardest with the bat and the ball, but Dasun Shanaka continued his overall dominance of India and helped Sri Lanka win by 16 runs.
The visitors, who batted first, scored 206 for 6 in their 20 overs, helped along by poor Indian bowling, which included seven very costly no-balls. Their top scorers were Shanaka (56* off 22) and Kusal Mendis (52 off 31).
India was reduced to 57 for 5 in the 10th over when the Sri Lankan bowlers broke through. At that point, the chase appeared to be over, but Suryakumar Yadav and Axar staged an epic comeback, scoring 91 runs off 40 balls for the sixth wicket. Axar and Shivam Mavi remained in control of the game even after Suryakumar succumbed.
Shanaka, on the other hand, picked up the ball in his first over with India needing 21 runs to win off the final over, took two wickets, and helped his team get over the line.
Kusal Mendis starts on fifth gear before spinners strike
It got off to a good start for India. They were able to bowl first after winning the toss and avoiding fielding in the dew later. The first over was bowled by Hardik Pandya, who only gave up two runs. Then everything went downhill. As Sri Lanka scored 45 runs in the next three overs, Mendis went on a rampage, causing panic in the India camp. Mendis shot a fast fifty from 27 balls.
To bring things back, Hardik had to rely on his spinners. Axar and Yuzvendra Chahal simultaneously stopped the scoring and took wickets. From their combined eight overs, the pair only gave up 54 runs.
Arshdeep and a tale of five no-balls
Arshdeep was introduced in the second over and started off with a half-volley on the pads that was clipped through square leg because he hadn’t played competitive cricket since the final ODI against New Zealand on November 30. After a fairly lengthy break, first ball arrives without a hitch. The subsequent four balls produced only one run. Then came an inexplicable string of no-balls, including three consecutive ones in his first over. The first was hit with a spray down the leg, the second was hit with a flick to deep backward square leg for a four, and the third was smoked over the fielder in the same area.
The horror no-balls continued when Arshdeep was brought back on the 19th over. He bowled two more, one of which caught Shanaka at long-on, and finished with 37 runs in two overs. The game’s tone was changed by his five no-balls.
Shanaka continues his India domination
His team had fallen to 110 for 4 in the 14th over when the Sri Lanka captain walked out to the middle. He then faced the hat trick ball after witnessing Charith Asalanka and Wanindu Hasaranga lose to Umran Malik off consecutive balls. one that he blew directly into the bowler’s head. Shanaka could not halt himself there. As they scored 93 runs in the final six overs, he scored fifty off 20 balls, the fastest by a Sri Lankan in men’s T20Is. Later, when the chase became difficult, he decided to bowl the final over. He took two wickets and gave away four runs.
Sri Lanka quicks blow away India’s top order
The way Sri Lanka ended their innings may have given India’s top order hope that the Pune surface would yield many runs. They were in for an unpleasant surprise. The batters were put in a lot of trouble by the Sri Lankan fast bowlers, who bowled with fervor. The hosts were down to 39 for 4 when the power play ended, with Dilshan Madushanka, Kasun Rajitha, and Chamika Karunaratne all scoring.
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Axar, Suryakumar stage a fightback to remember
After ten overs, India had reached 64 for 5. A severe defeat appeared to be imminent due to the long tail. Then came a run-out opportunity, which nearly ended with Axar and Suryakumar on the same side. When Sri Lanka failed, a switch was flipped. Axar and Suryakumar went after their targets like possessed men. Every Sri Lankan bowler was used, and a required rate that was frequently close to 15 was managed fairly well. Suryakumar scored 33, while Axar scored fifty off 20 balls. However, in the end, it turned out that the target was a peak that was too big to scale.