Close Icon

Enter your mobile number

or Scan the QR Code Scan the QR Code

India take 1-0 lead in T20I series with a big 38-run win over Sri Lanka at Colombo

By Devarchit Varma July 26, 2021

Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw showed up in India’s white-ball cricket colours before they begin their journey to England and join the men in whites for the upcoming five-Test series. While the former was playing his fourth T20I, which he lit up with his second, match-winning half-century in the format, the former joined an unwanted but rich list of players as the Indian team completed a strong 38-run win to take a 1-0 lead against Sri Lanka. 

India recorded a 38-run win in a contest where they appeared to have underscored, allowing the opposition to rein them in with tight bowling in death overs, with their explosive batting stars failing to fire. But on the back of some splendid bowling, especially seniors in Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal, the visitors kept Sri Lanka pinned under the dual pressure of a 

Shaw became only the third Indian cricketer ever to be dismissed for a duck in his debut game, when Dushmantha Chameera surprised the Indian opener on the first ball of the game, moving it dangerously away. The ball kept on moving the time it left Chameera’s hand and settled into Minod Bhanuka’s gloves after kissing Shaw’s bat. Sri Lanka were ecstatic, and perhaps, that was the highest point in the game for them — right at the start. 

The diminutive Shaw thus joined two fantastic players in MS Dhoni and KL Rahul to be dismissed for nought in the shortest yet the most popular format of the game. Shaw’s dismissal on the first ball did come as a mild shock for India, but never did they show any signs of discomfort or being pegged back with an early loss. 

Instead, Shikhar Dhawan and Sanju Samson took the attack to the opposition, adding 51 runs for the second wicket. Dhawan was yet again happy playing the second-fiddle while Samson was showcasing the fluency with which he can get his runs, both with tremendous command and control. 

But once again, Samson was dismissed prematurely. He made a 20-ball 27 but it felt like he was in the middle for half of India’s innings. Samson’s dismissal brought Suryakumar to the middle, and India kept on marching.

Suryakumar was absolutely magnificent once again. Playing only his fourth match of his fledgling career, the right-handed middle-order batsman brought up his second half-century. Suryakumar scored 50 from 34 balls with four boundaries and two sixes, hitting runs on all parts of the ground to ensure that India remained on track for a strong first-innings total. 

Suryakumar took charge of scoring while Dhawan provided enough support from the other end, as the two batsmen added 62 runs for the third wicket to consolidate for the Indian team. However, the visitors slipped from thereon — India kept losing wickets at crucial moments — just when they were required to pick up the scoring rate, and ended up at a score which was deemed at-par given the favourable conditions for batting and the fact that Sri Lanka have been punching a lot above their weight. 

Ishan Kishan did well towards the end to smack one six and a four to make 14-ball 20 not out, but India would be disappointed with the kind of outing which their star all-rounder Hardik Pandya had. The right-handed batsman failed to make any mark on the scoreboard, falling for a 12-ball 10 without any big hit. 

For Sri Lanka, Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga returned with the figures of 4-0-24-2 and 4-0-28-2 respectively. 

The home team needed a strong reply with the bat, but they could not fire in unison throughout their innings. The first two partnerships was of 23 and 25 runs respectively, which did not help the hosts build a platform for the tricky chase. Their in-form opening batsman Avishka Fernando fell for a 23-ball 26 with three fours, Minod Bhanuka made 10 from 7 balls and No 3 Dhananjaya de Silva fell for 9. 

It was Charith Asalanka who led the fightback for the Sri Lankan team, smashing three sixes and as many fours to make 44 from 26 balls — an innings that kept India in discomfort and Sri Lanka in the hope that they would be able to get past the finish line provided everything goes alright with their chase. 

However, the Indian senior and experienced bowlers were far too good for the nervous Sri Lankans. The ace leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal bowled a measly spell of 4-0-19-1 whereas the debutant mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy was also tight with his spell, which read 4-0-28-1. 

But the star of the game for India were Deepak Chahar, who claimed two wickets in the 16th over — in the form of Asalanka and Wanindu Hasaranga — and Bhuvneshwar. The senior most India player returned with a stunning spell of 3.3-0-22-4, accounting for the likes of Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne (3), Isuru Udana (1) and Dushmantha Chameera (1). 

The Sri Lankan team had no one but themselves to blame, as they did not approach a moderate chase with a plan or method that would work for them. At halfway stage in their chase, Sri Lanka were still in need of more than a 100 runs and had seven wickets in hand, but still, India emerged victorious by 38 runs having bowled Sri Lanka out for 126 from 18.3 overs. 

The second T20I of the series will be played on Tuesday night at the Khettarama Stadium. 


Download App