T20 series: Sri Lanka level series

Image credits: Twitter Sri Lanka Cricket
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Sri Lanka defeated India by four wickets in the second Twenty20 to level the three-match series 1-1, here on Wednesday.

Invited to bat, a depleted India scored 132 for five on a sluggish pitch.

A below-strength India, were forced to make seven changes in the playing XI after nine players were ruled out due to Covid-related issues.

Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey and Ishan Kishan were all unavailable after being put in isolation.

As a result, India had only five recognised batters to choose from.

Due to nine players in isolation, India were forced to hand debuts to two players -Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Though India lost only two wickets at the end of the 15th over, the lack of firepower in the middle order hurt them.

No wonder, India scored only 38 off the last 30 balls! 

Skipper Shikhar Dhawan top-scored for the Indians with his 40-run knock.

For Sri Lanka, the spinners Akila Dhananjaya and Wanindu Hasaranga bowled a tight line to concede just 59 runs in their 8 overs and bagged 3 wickets.

They were so effective that a big hitter like Sanju Samson could manage just 7 in 13 balls, before falling to Dananjaya.

Chameera was the most economical bowler conceding just 23 runs in his 4 overs while Karunaratne gave away 6 runs in his solitary over.

Only 7 boundaries and one six was hit in the 20 overs and there were as many as 42 dot balls!

Bad start by Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka got off to a bad start losing the in-form Avishka Fernando in the third over.

They kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were 55-3 at one stage.

However, Dhananjaya De Silva’s unbeaten knock helped Sri Lanka overcome the challenge.

De Silva scored an unbeaten 40 off 34 balls, while Chamika Karunaratne scored an unbeaten 12 off 6 balls.

Apart from that, Minod Bhanuka was dismissed for 36 off 31 balls.

For his efforts, Dhananjaya de Silva was declared the Man of the Match.

Eventually, Sri Lanka lost 6 wickets in 19.4 overs as they overtook India’s 133-run target.

For India, Kuldeep Yadav was the top wicket-taker with two wickets, dismissing Dasun Shanaka and Minod Bhanuka.

Varun Chakravarthy was the most economical bowler in the entire match as he gave just 18 runs in his 4 overs and took one wicket.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Chetan Sakariya and Rahul Chahar took one wicket each.

Surprisingly, Shikhar Dhawan did not give a single over to fast bowler Navdeep Saini.

The two teams will now face off on Thursday at the same venue for the third and final T20I.

Sri Lanka 133 for 6 (de Silva 40*, Bhanuka 36, Yadav 2-30) beat India 132 for 5 (Dhawan 40, Padikkal 29, Dananjaya 2-29) by four wickets


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