After the abandoned game in Guwahati, all eyes were on the second T20I at the Holkar Stadium in Indore. A victory for either team would’ve helped them take the lead and shield themselves from a series defeat. In the end, Virat Kohli and Co emerged victorious by seven wickets with as many as 15 balls to spare. The Men in Blue didn’t suffer many hiccups after being set a rather modest target.
Lanka stutter after steady start
The Lankan openers, Danushka Gunathilaka (20) and Avishka Fernando (22), took their team off to a decent start. The duo put 38 for the opening wicket before Washington Sundar induced a false shot off Fernando. The visitors scored 48 in the powerplay and the platform was set for a massive score in the first innings. But the Indian bowlers pulled things back and put the brakes on the Lankan batting.
Kusal Perera (34) smacked three sixes, but could only go at a strike-rate of 121.42. Kuldeep Yadav got rid of the big fish in the 14th over. Navdeep Saini also impressed with the wickets of Gunathilaka and Bhanuka Rajapaksha. Dhananjaya de Silva (17) and Wanindu Hasaranga (16*) added some vital runs to help Lanka post 142 for nine. Shardul Thakur brushed off the tail, picking up three wickets.
India get home without much fuss
The Indian openers, KL Rahul (45) and Shikhar Dhawan (32), took the Lankan bowling by the scruff its neck. The duo notched 54 runs in the powerplay and eventually put on 71 runs for the opening wicket off 55 balls. Wanindu Hasaranga’s googly broke through Rahul’s defence and gave the visitors their first wicket. In his next over, the spinner used the DRS to good effect to get Dhawan’s wicket.
Shreyas Iyer (34) came ahead of Virat Kohli and didn’t flatter to deceive. He smacked three fours and a six of Hasaranga that hit the roof downtown at the venue. Lahiru Kumara pinned him with a short ball, but by then, the target was reduced to six off the last 17 balls. Kohli came, smashed 30 off 17 balls and scripted victory for India. He deposited Kumara over long on to seal the fate of the contest.
KL Rahul said
It was a smaller target and my plans were simple which is to spend some time in the middle. Our bowlers bowled really well and anything around 170 on this wicket would have been par. A lot of credit must go to the bowlers. I’ve just been getting runs and the reading of the game has gotten a lot better and knowing how to build my innings again.
I felt that was lacking and I always knew I had the game to get runs and it was just a matter of spending time in the middle, really happy to carry on the same way. We all go out there with a simple plan which is to win the game for your country, he (Rohit) makes it look so easy and I’ve always batted with Shikhar especially at the start of my Test career and we understand each other well and I just enjoy batting with both of them.
Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, said
Very happy. It was a clinical performance. We have gone from strength to strength. It’s a very good sign for the team. Navdeep has come into the ODI circuit as well, he gaining more confidence. You can really seem letting himself go. It’s great to see getting him take wickets with yorkers and bouncers. Good to see Bumrah back too.
I think one guy will be surprise package going to Australia. Kuldeep takes the ball away so does Washington. As a captain, you need more than five bowlers. Beautiful surface, we bowled beautifully. As a bowler, no one like bowling here. You want to see guys stepping up. I want to play at three and four.
Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lanka skipper, said
We were around 25-30 runs short. We tried to bowl consistent lines and lengths. The bowlers did well to drag the match till the 18th over. He’s (Udana) our main bowler and is very experienced in this format. He got injured just before we went out to bowl. He’s recovering now. We need to give opportunities to the youngsters.
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