Sri Lanka go down fighting, fail to avoid whitewash

Sri Lanka innings (toss: India, who chose to bowl first)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
N Dickwella caught Siraj, bowled Unadkat 1 (6) 0 0 16.66
U Tharanga caught Pandya, bowled Unadkat 11 (11) 2 0 100.00
K Perera caught and bowled Washington 4 (4) 1 0 100.00
S Samarawickrama caught Karthik, bowled Pandya 21 (17) 3 0 123.52
A Gunaratne caught Kuldeep, bowled Pandya 36 (37) 3 0 97.29
D Gunathilaka caught Pandya, bowled Kuldeep 3 (8) 0 0 37.50
T Perera caught Rohit, bowled Siraj 11 (6) 2 0 183.33
D Shanaka not out 29 (24) 0 2 120.83
A Dananjaya not out 11 (7) 2 0 157.14
Batsmen who didn’t bat: D Chameera, N Pradeep
Extras: 8 (6 wides, 2 leg byes)
SL’s total: 135/7 in 20 overs, at 6.75 runs per over
Fall of wickets: 8/1 (N Dickwella, 1.5), 14/2 (K Perera, 2.6), 18/3 (U Tharanga, 3.3), 56/4 (S Samarawickrama, 8.3), 72/5 (D Gunathilaka, 11.4), 85/6 (T Perera, 12.6), 111/7 (A Gunaratne, 17.3)
India bowling
Bowlers Overs Dot balls Runs given Wickets Economy
W Sundar 4 11 22 1 5.50
J Unadkat 4 15 15 2 3.75
M Siraj 4 6 45 1 11.25
H Pandya 4 11 25 2 6.25
K Yadav 4 6 26 1 6.50
India innings (target: 136 runs in 20 overs, at 6.80 runs per over)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
R Sharma caught K Perera, bowled Shanaka 27 (20) 4 1 135.00
L Rahul lbw Chameera 4 (9) 0 0 44.44
S Iyer run out by Dananjaya 30 (32) 1 1 93.75
M Pandey bowled Chameera 32 (29) 4 0 110.34
H Pandya caught Dickwella, bowled Shanaka 4 (4) 0 0 100.00
D Karthik not out 18 (12) 0 1 150.00
MS Dhoni not out 16 (10) 2 0 160.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: W Sundar, M Siraj, J Unadkat, Kuldeep Yadav
Extras: 8 (3 wides, 5 leg byes)
India’s total: 139/5 in 19.2 overs, at 7.04 runs per over
Fall of wickets: 17/1 (L Rahul, 3.2), 39/2 (R Sharma, 6.6), 81/3 (S Iyer, 13.2), 99/4 (H Pandya, 14.6), 108/5 (M Pandey, 16.1)
Sri Lanka bowling
Bowlers Overs Dot balls Runs Wickets  Economy
A Dananjaya 4 10 27 0 6.75
D Chameera 4 13 22 2 5.50
T Perera 3.2 7 22 0 6.60
N Pradeep 4 6 36 0 9.00
D Shanaka 4 10 27 2 6.75

Man of the match:

Jaydev Unadkat, for taking 2/15 in four overs.

Top scorer in the 3rd T20:

Asela Gunaratne [36 runs off 37 balls, 3×4, strike rate 97.29]

Where was the 3rd T20 won and lost?

The Wankhede pitch had a lot more life in it than we anticipated in the lead-up to the match. The ball seamed around in the second half of the match, in particular, and the Indian batting line-up was put to the test by the moving ball. The Indian batsmen were beaten on the inside and outside and they had to be watchful against the Sri Lankan seamers. All this, amid the dew on the outfield. And at the halfway stage in the Indian innings, with the home team placed at 56/2, you couldn’t help but wonder if 135 was a winning score.

In the end, though, with the likes of Manish Pandey (32), Dinesh Karthik (18*) and Shreyas Iyer (30) bringing their IPL experience into play, the target of 136 was reached with four balls to spare and with five wickets in hand. Sri Lanka were probably 10 to 15 runs short of a winning score, particularly given how their bowlers bowled on this night. Essentially, therefore, Sri Lanka were let down by their batsmen once again.

Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to field first, with India making two changes to their XI from the second T20I: Washington Sundar (T20I debut) and Mohammed Siraj replaced Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah. Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga fell to Jaydev Unadkat, who was easily the standout bowler on the night. Kusal Perera (4) fell cheaply again, caught and bowled by Washington with a length delivery that this left-hander tried to hit on the up, in the process lobbing a simple catch back to the off-spinner

At 18/3, Sri Lanka looked like they might be dismissed cheaply. But Sadeera Samarawickrama (21), Asela Gunaratne (36) and Dasun Shanaka (29*) batted sensibly and led their team to a respectable total. Samarawickrama and Gunaratne were also dismissed trying to play the big shot, but they had to play the big shots at some point and the extra bounce disallowed them from even getting the ball over the infield. 18 runs were scored off the last over of the innings (Shanaka heaving Siraj for a massive six over wide long-on and Akila Dananjaya hitting a couple of fours), propelling Sri Lanka’s score to 135/7.

India did not get off to the desired start, with Dananjaya and Chameera, in particular, bowling really well. As aforementioned, the ball moved around and the extra bounce was making life difficult for the batsmen. Lokesh Rahul (4) was struck high on the pad by Chameera, but the ball was deemed to be hitting the bails by umpire Anil Chaudhary and Rahul’s review of this decision did not reprieve him. India lost an early wicket and the runs were hard to come by too.

India struggled for runs and momentum until the halfway stage, but Iyer and Pandey put together an important 42-run partnership for the third wicket, with the runs coming mostly in singles and twos. But because the target was a relatively smaller one, India were not burdened by the pressure of the required run rate and were able to give themselves time.

Dananjaya ran out Iyer, who was out of his crease, backing up, only for a straight drive from Pandey to ricochet off Dananjaya’s fingertip onto the stumps. This was an extremely unfortunate way to get out. But this is where Pandey took control and brought the difference between balls left and runs required down with a series of bottom-handed hits to the fence. He had not even hit one four before Iyer was dismissed, but hit four fours in the next three overs to bring the required run rate to seven runs per over, which was more than manageable.

He too fell to the moving ball, with a back-of-a-length delivery from Chameera moving inwards slightly after pitching and hitting the top of middle stump. Pandey was out for a 29-ball 32, with India needing 28 runs off 23 balls. Dinesh Karthik (18*) and MS Dhoni  (16*) knocked off the required runs with relative ease.

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