The match was delayed and reduced to 19 overs per side, credits to the rain gods. And winning the toss Rohit Sharma decided to field first as he stated. “We are going to field first. There has been some rain around and we wanted to have a score in front of us. We have seen in this tournament that the wicket seems to get better. It was a high-scoring game (Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh) and that proves wicket will get better. We have done that well. Another opportunity for us to showcase our talent.”
Batting first, openers Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka went all guns blazing as they pummeled 24 runs in the first two overs. A stunning catch by Suresh Raina in deep mid wicket, however, saw Gunathilaka walk back after a good start. Mendis went on to post 55 off 38 balls before perishing to Yuzvendra Chahal’s delivery. The Indian bowlers tightened the screws to curb down the run-fest and Sri Lanka’s aggressive start drowned amid the searing Premadasa crowd. A handy 22 from Upul Tharanga, Thisara Perera’s 15 and Dasun Shanaka’s 19 helped the hosts cross the 150 run mark.
For the visitors, bowler Shardul Thakur made life tough between the wickets with his ‘knuckleballs,’ which actually slowed the Lankan chariot. The 26-year-old registered his best T20I figure returning with 4/27 from his four overs. Washington Sundar scalped 2 while Jaydev Unadkta, Vijay Shankar and Yuzvendra Chahal bagged one each.
Coming out to chase, skipper Rohit Sharma failed to bully the ball yet again ah he walked back to the hut for a paltry 11. As of now, his tri-nation score highlights a 0, 17 and 11. Shikhar Dhawan, too, disheartened with a 10-ball 8 which included one boundary. Coming in for Risabh Pant, KL Rahul managed to get himself out in the unluckiest fashion of hit wicket. Struggling from the start, the mounting pressure got the better of Rahul, yet again. Southpaw Suresh Raina dazzled the field with his stupendous efforts, however, couldn’t last long in between the wickets. Going after every delivery was his mantra, which saw him lobbing a slower delivery and gift his wicket. Manish Pandey (42 off 31) and Dinesh Karthik (39 off 25) took the onus on them to reflect their maturity and patience thus putting up a decisive 68-run partnership for the fourth wicket and steer India to a win.
India now sit comfortably at the top of the table with 4 points while Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are second and third respectively with two points each. India now face Bangladesh in the 5th T20I on Wednesday while Sri Lanka lock their horn against the Tigers on Friday. The Final will be played on Sunday.