Sri Lanka edge past India in a thriller; keep T20I series alive

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Dhananjaya de Silva led Sri Lanka to a victory

Colombo: Dhananjaya de Silva struck an unbeaten 40 to clinch a four-wicket victory over India in a low-scoring thriller in the second game of the ongoing T20I series on Wednesday. Chasing 133, the hosts too were at once struggling until Dhananjaya brought them back to the game.

With eight needed to win in the last over, the experienced Lankan kept his cool to see things over the line. Earlier, India after being asked to bat were struggling right from the start. The pitch didn’t offer them much to get their power on their shots, thus were finding it difficult to pace the innings.

The duo of Wanindu Hasaranga (1/30) and Akila Dananjaya (2/29) slammed the door in the middle overs to make things more difficult for the visitors. Skipper Shikha Dhawan topped the scoreboard with a hard-fought 40 but it wasn’t enough as none of the others were finding any sort of room.

Debutants Devdutt Padikkal (23) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (21) tried their best but were unable to cope with the Lankan spinning trap as the Men in Blue Finished at 132/5. In reply, Sri Lanka too were feeling the heat from the start with Avishka Fernando going home cheaply.

His partner Minod Bhanuka contributed 31-ball 36. India’s fightback was led by Kuldeep Yadav (2/30) who was their pick of the bowlers with the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/21) also supporting with a tight spell.

However, it was Dhananjaya who shattered the Indian hopes even though the game went to the wire helping his side to level the series with a game to go.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 133/6 in 19.4 overs (Dhananjaya de Silva 40*, Minod Bhanuka 36; Kuldeep Yadav 2/30) beat India 132/5 (Shikhar Dhawan 40, Devdutt Padikkal 29;  Akila Dananjaya 2/29)  by 4 wickets.

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