Dominant India crush Lanka to end tour on a high
Virat Kohli’s breathtaking knock allowed India to put a decent total on the board and then the duo of Pathan and Dinda made sure that the visitors cruise to a resounding 39-run win.
India hammered Sri Lanka in the ODI series quite comprehensively and had just one more match left before they head back home. This match held prominence with the T20 World Cup round the corner and Sri Lanka hosting it. Two sides had 2-2 record in the head to head battle in T20Is and were looking to gain the upper hand.
Mahela Jayawardena was lucky with the toss and decided to field. A few changes in both teams with Mahela, Herath and Eranga playing for SL, while India included Umesh Yadav in place of Zaheer Khan.
The start for India was shaky with Gambhir departing cheaply but then Kohli joined forces with Rahane and punished the Lankan bowling to all parts of the park. Courtesy this power-hitting, Indian managed 50/1 in the Quick Start Overs. The Indians slowed down a bit after that as the spinners were introduced and the shot making was difficult.
Rahane tried to up the scoring ante but was caught and bowled by Mendis which ended his 74-run stand with Kohli. Sri Lanka bowled tight lines towards the end and with Kohli throwing away his wicket in the 17th over, the late order hitting fell on the shoulders of Raina and Dhoni. They tried their best but failed to score briskly as Sri Lanka recovered nicely and conceded just 35 in the Extreme Performance Overs.
India eventually finished on 155/3 in their 20 overs. Virat Kohli was the top-scorer of the match, stroking his maiden T20I half-century and he ended with the Batting Momentum of 124. The debutant bowler for Sri Lanka, Shaminda Eranga, claimed a couple of wickets in the match and earned the best Bowling Efficiency of 94.
Chasing a decent total, Jayawardena slapped the first ball from Pathan over point for a boundary and the intention from Sri Lanka was quite clear. But Irfan bounced back to shatter the stumps of Dilshan in the first over itself, sending the dangerous batsman for a first-ball duck. He didn’t stop there and wrecked havoc in the Lankan top-order by getting rid of Jayawardena and Tharanga as well.
However, Sri Lanka maintained a good run-rate in spite of losing so many wickets and finished the Quick Start Overs with 52 runs on the board. Lahiru Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews kept the Lankan hopes alive but after adding 33 for the fourth wicket, Thirimanne gifted his wicket away by attempting a rash shot off Ashwin, resulting in his stumps getting disturbed. India got the opening and the wicket of Mathews further pegged the hosts back. Chandimal and Perera didn’t last long and the writing was on the wall. Dinda finished off the match in his side’s favour by bagging a three-wicket maiden over and earned India a resounding win over their familiar foes.
Irfan Pathan and Ashok Dinda hunted down seven wickets together and achieved the Bowling Efficiency of 139 and 126 respectively. Angelo Mathews was the top-scorer for Sri Lanka, scoring 31, and gained the Batting Momentum of 46.
It was a one-sided affair on the Castrol Index with India (68) steam-rolling Sri Lanka by 30 points. Irfan Pathan was chosen for the Man of the Match award for picking up three top Sri Lankan wickets and he finished with the Overall Index of 35. However, the top performer of the match according to the Index was Virat Kohli with 60 points.
That ends a very successful tour of India to the Emerald Isle nation and they’ve begun their season on a high.