India beat Sri Lanka in one-off T20
India rounded off a brilliant tour of Sri Lanka for them with yet another victory in the one-off Twenty20. For India it was Virat Kohli yet again proving why he is fast becoming one of the country's finest batsman and the 'go-to' man. Irfan Pathan with three wickets and Ashok Dinda with four scalps, led the bowling front.
India rounded off a brilliant tour to Sri Lanka for them with yet another victory in the one-off Twenty20. For India it was Virat Kohli yet again proving why he is fast becoming one of the country's finest batsman and the 'go-to' man. Irfan Pathan with three wickets and Ashok Dinda with four scalps, led the bowling front. (AFP and AP Photos)
Batting first, India had the worst possible start with Gautam Gambhir departing early. He scored 6 before trying to play one across the line off Shaminda Eranga and being bowled yet again. Incidentally, Eranga, who was drafted in place of Sangakkara, has a wicket in the first over of all the formats.
It was left to Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli to stabilise the innings after the early jolt. Rahane did provide surety but Kohli was the one upping the ante. He scored his first T20 international 50 in process and ensured that India reach a respectable total atleast.
Virat had done his part before exiting, taking India's total to 129 till his departure. He scored 68 off 48 deliveries with 11 hits to the fence and one over it.
Indian fans could not have asked for a better pair than skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina to finish off the innings in a flurry. Both of them tried hard but could manage just 26 in the 3.3 overs they batted together. A total of 155 was all India could manage.
Sri Lanka, just like India, had the most inauspicious of starts as Tillakaratne Dilshan went without troubling the scorers. Irfan Pathan, after a long time, was in full flow though, swinging the white 'cherry' at will.
After removing Dilshan, Pathan got the better of Upul Tharanga caught safely by Raina to leave Sri Lanka in trouble.
Mahela Jayawardena looked in fine nick as he raced away to 26 off 18 balls. He looked to wrest the initiative and did so effectively for a while.
It was vintage Irfan Pathan though as he dismissed a dangerous looking Jayawardena too, trapped in front. The height factor might have been an issue but India and Irfan took it gleefully to rock Sri Lanka further.
The Island nation's top order had collapsed but the middle-lower order batsmen still instilled some hope as they had performed well in the ODI series too. Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne and Jeevan Mendis put in a valiant effort but ran into a motivated Team India.