India Thrash Sri Lanka by 69 Runs in Ranchi, Level Series 1-1
India were boosted by Shikhar Dhawan's maiden Twenty20 International fifty as they thrashed Sri Lanka by 69 runs in Ranchi to level the three-match series 1-1.
Heading into the second match at Ranchi, India were under pressure following the loss in Pune. Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and chose to bowl on a dry pitch. (All Images from BCCI)
The Indian team were in good spirits in MS Dhoni's hometown and they were determined to come back on level terms against an inexperienced Sri Lankan side.
Rohit Sharma, who had fallen for a duck in the first match at Pune, got off the mark in grand style by flaying Kasun Rajitha over cover for a boundary.
Shikhar Dhawan, who was also struggling for form, found his range on this pitch and got going with a couple of sixes. He proceeded to punish Rajitha by hitting a hat-trick of boundaries in the bowler's second over.
Rohit and Dhawan notched up the fifty-run stand in quick time and by the end of the powerplay, they had smashed 70 runs.
Dhawan finally broke the jinx by registering his maiden fifty off 22 balls, making him the fifth-fastest among all Indian batsmen.
However, Dushmantha Chameera broke the dangerous stand by removing Dhawan for 51 off 25 balls. However, his knock had laid the platform for a big score.
Chameera proceeded to inflict more damage on India as he hung on to a brilliant catch off his own bowling to get rid of Rohit Sharma for 43.
Sri Lanka had applied the brakes on the scoring and they dried up the runs in the next five overs. India struggled to get some momentum going.
Hardik Pandya, who was promoted up the order, showed glimpses of his talent by smashing a couple of big sixes off Sachithra Senanayake. He shared a 59-run stand with Suresh Raina as India aimed for a score of 200.
Thisara Perera changed the complexion of the match in the 19th over when he picked up a hat-trick. He sent back Pandya, Raina and Yuvraj Singh to become the fourth bowler to take a hat-trick in Twenty20 Internationals and the first Sri Lankan bowler to achieve this feat. India finished up on 196/6.
Chasing 197, Sri Lanka were jolted immediately when Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was making a comeback following injury, was stumped by MS Dhoni off R Ashwin for a golden duck.
Ashish Nehra struck twice in his opening spell as Sri Lanka got off to a terrible start.
Chamara Kapugedera and Dinesh Chandimal strung a 52-run stand and kept Sri Lanka afloat.
However, once Kapugedera and Chandimal fell in quick succession to Ravindra Jadeja, the rest of the Sri Lankan batting failed to put up any kind of resistance.
Jasprit Bumrah came on to bowl in the 16th over and he snapped up two wickets. His most memorable moment being the full ball to Chameera which broke the leg stump in half.
Sri Lanka managed just 127/9 and they lost the match by 69 runs. This was India's third-biggest margin of victory in terms of runs and it helped them level the series 1-1. Dhawan was named Man of the Match for his fifty.