The shorter the format, the more unpredictable it is. The lone T20 between India and Sri Lanka proved to be a testimony to just that. After being invited to bat first, Sri Lanka put on a fighting total on the board. Going through ups and downs, Sri Lanka managed to score 170. Chasing more than 8.5 runs an over was never going to be easy, even for a strong batting lineup like India. After the openers departed early, Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey stitched together a partnership that eventually sealed the match for India and made it look all so simple in the end. India clean sweeping the entire Sri Lanka tour with this convincing win.Let us have a look at a few defining moments of the match.
- Quick, confused Sri Lankan start
Sri Lanka started very aggressively, but kept on losing wickets on the other end as if they had come with an agenda. However, the quick run rate ensured that Sri Lanka have some kind of momentum going into the last few overs and some time to build a partnership when wickets were falling down regularly.
- Munaweera’s cameo
Dilshan Munaweera’s 53 of 29 balls meant somebody like Priyanjan could play a run a ball 40 in the later stages of the match and still manage to take the Sri Lankan total to 170. Munaweera wanted to take the attack to the opposition right from the word go, and played a fearless brand of cricket. Had Munaweera stayed a little longer, the results could have been different.
- Chahal and Kuldeep pick up 5
Yuzvendra Chahal, although being expensive, picked up 3 crucial wickets and brokethe backbone of the Lankan Batting line up. On the other end, Kuldeep Yadav picked up 2 with a brilliant economy rate. The spinners proved to be India’s savior in the lone T20. With Hardik Pandya not playing, there were as many as 3 spinners in the team, the third being Axar Patel, who too exerted pressure.
- Indian openers depart early
Chasing a competitive total, Indian openers departed early. Opening the batting were Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, Rohit miscued a pull shot while Kl Rahul got a start but couldn’t really continue. When India were 2 down, Sri Lanka were right back in the game with scoring rate being brought down and new batsmen at the crease.
- Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey come together
Virat Kohli continued his golden touch with the bat and apart from the first couple of deliveries where he was beaten outside the off stump, Kohli looked in control of every bit of his innings until the time he got out. Manish Pandey also struggled in the initial part of his innings but he kept going and finally found his timing, eventually getting to his half century by scoring the winning runs. Their partnership ensured India win quite comfortably in the end. When Kohli departed, only formalities were to be finished which Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni did without a brow of sweat.
That brought an end to a clean sweep in the tour of Sri Lanka by India, India winning the Test Series, 3-0, ODI Series 5-0 and the lone T20. India will have the Aussies visiting them next, starting September 17 2017.