An experimental India humbled Sri Lanka at Pune on Friday to complete a 2-0 series victory. Wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson, middle-order batsman Manish Pandey and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal were included in the Indian playing XI, in place of Rishabh Pant, all-rounder Shivam Dube and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav. For Sri Lanka, veteran Angelo Mathews got his first game of the series.
KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan hit fifties to help India post 201/6. Then the bowlers dismissed Sri Lanka for 123 with 4.1 overs remaining. India were at 164/6 with 16 balls remaining, then Manish Pandey and Shardul Thakur cut loose as India ended their innings with a flourish. In the second half, Indian bowlers turned with their best and dismiss the visitors for a paltry 123, for their sixth consecutive series win against the Islanders.
Jasprit Bumrah becomes India's leading wicket-taker in the T20Is even as his pace-mates Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur continued to impress. Washington Sundar got a wicket. Yuzvendra Chahal was wicketless, but he made up with a direct hit. For Sri Lanka, Dhananjaya de Silva was brilliant. He made 57 off 36.
Next, India host Australia in a three-match ODI series. Aussies are already in India. Catch highlights here:
SRI LANKA INNINGS: TARGET 202
10:12 PM IST: Navdeep Saini on with last over. Get the wickets of Dhananjaya de Silva (57 off 36) and Lasith Malinga (0 off 1) to wrap up the match and series. Sri Lanka all out for 123 in 15.5 overs. India win by 78 runs, and take series 2-0.
10:05 PM IST: Washington Sundar on with his last over. Two singles then a double as Dhananjaya de Silva reaches his fifty, in 31 balls. Another double. A single, then the wicket. Stumped. Sandakan out for 1 off 2. SL - 118/8 (5); De Silva - 53. They need 84 from 30. Sundar's figures - 4-0-37-2.
10:01 PM IST: Shardul Thakur on with his third over. Caught and bowled to send Dasun Shanaka (9 off 9) back, then a direct hit from Yuzvendra Chahal to dismiss new man Wanindu Hasaranga for a duck. Lakshan Sandakan is the new man. Two runs from the over. SL - 111/7 (14); De Silva - 47, Sandakan - 0. They need 91 from 36.
9:54 PM IST: Yuzvendra Chahal on with his third over. Dhananjaya de Silva hits the second ball for a four then Dasun Shanaka connects the fifth for a six, over long-on. 13 runs from the over. SL - 109/5 (13); De Silva - 46, Shanaka - 9. They need 93.
9:50 PM IST: Washington Sundar on with his third over. Angelo Mathews hits the first ball for a six, over long-on. Another attempt for a six, but this time, Manish Pandey takes a very good catch at long-on. Dasun Shanaka, right-handed batsman, is the new man. Eight runs from the over. SL - 96/5 (12); De Silva - 41, Shanaka - 1. They need 106.
9:45 PM IST: Navdeep Saini returns for his second over. A full toss to start with, and Dhananjaya de Silva hits it straight for a four. He hits the fifth ball, using the pace, for a four to third man. A yorker to end the over. 10 runs from the over. SL - 88/4 (11); Mathews - 25, De Silva - 40. They need 114.
9:40 PM IST: Yuzvendra Chahal continues. Dhananjaya de Silva hits the first ball for a six. A double off the fifth ball to long-off and half-century stand (51 in 28). 11 runs from the over. SL - 78/4 (10); Mathews - 24, De Silva - 31. They need 124.
9:36 PM IST: Washington Sundar continues. Angelo Mathews hit the second ball for a six, then Dhananjaya de Silva gets his fourth four off the fourth ball. Mathews ends the over with a six, over long-on. 19 from the over. Big over. SL - 67/4 (9); Mathews - 23, De Silva - 21. They need 135.
9:33 PM IST: Bowling change. Yuzvendra Chahal on. Dhananjaya de Silva welcomes him with a four off the first ball, past point fielder. Five singles and nine runs from the over. SL - 48/4 (8); Mathews - 10, De Silva - 16. They need 154.
9:29 PM IST: Double bowling change. Washington Sundar on. Two singles and a double from the over. SL - 39/4 (7); Mathews - 8, De Silva - 9. They need 163.
9:25 PM IST: Bowling change. Navdeep Saini on. First ball and wicket. He cleans up Kusal Perera (7 off 10). Deadly yorker. Dhananjaya de Silva, right-handed batsman, is the new man. De Silva hits the last ball for a four. Nine runs from the over. SL - 35/4 (6); Mathews - 7, De Silva - 8. They need 167.
9:18 PM IST: Shardul Thakur continues. Kusal Perera hits the third ball for a four, over mid-on. Then Angelo Mathews hits another on, to mid-wicket. 11 runs from the over. SL - 26/3 (5); Perera - 7, Mathews - 5. They need 176
9:14 PM IST: Change of ends for Jasprit Bumrah. Hits Kusal Perera by a dipping full toss. And in the mix, Oshada Fernando is run out by Manish Pandey for 2 off 5. Pandey, after picking the ball at point, runs to the striker's end and whips the bails off. Angelo Mathews is the new man. Wicket maiden. SL - 15/3 (4); Perera - 1, Mathews - 0.
9:07 PM IST: Bowling change. Navdeep Saini, right-arm fast-medium pacer, replaces Jasprit Bumrah. A wide, then three dots to Kusal Perera. A single off the fourth, then a double. A dot to end the over. SL - 15/2 (3); Perera - 1, Fernando - 2. Sri Lanka need 187 runs.
9:02 PM IST: Kusal Perera, left-handed batsman, is the new man. Shardul Thakur shares the new ball. A dot, then Avishka Fernando hits the second ball for a six over square leg. Thakur responds. Had Fernando (9 off 7) caught at cover by Shreyas Iyer. Oshada Fernando, right-handed batsman, is the new man. Six runs from the over. SL - 11/2 (2); Perera - 0, Fernando - 0.
8:57 PM IST: Jasprit Bumrah with the new ball. Danushka Gunathilaka faces the first. His opening partner is Avishka Fernando. A single, a double and a single. A wide, then the wicket of Gunathilaka (1 off 2). Simple catch for Washinton Sundar at mid-on. SL - 5/1 (1); Gunathilaka - 1.
8:47 PM IST: Asked to bat first, India got off to a flier with both the openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan hitting fifties. The hosts then suffered a mini-collapse but ended their innings with a flourish. Manish Pandey and Shardul Thakur added 37 runs in 14 balls to help India post 201/6.
INDIA INNINGS; TOSS - SRI LANKA
8:40 PM IST: Lahiru Kumara with the last over of the innings. Shardul Thakur takes a double, straight down the ground. Then a mighty six. Ball's gone, straight. Thakur hits the next ball over deep extra cocver for a four. A single. Manish Pandey pulls the next ball for a four. A couple to end the innings. 19 runs from the over. IND - 201/6 (20); Pandey - 31, Thakur - 22. Kumara's figures - 1/46. 37 in 14 balls between Pandey and Thakur.
8:30 PM IST: Lahiru Kumara returns for his third over. A short ball to Manish Pandey, and a four to midwicket boundary. Two singles, and run out. Suicidal second run for Kohli. Good throw from Danushka Gunathilaka from deep square leg. Washington Sundar joins Pandey, and he holes out. Caught by Lakshan Sandakan at third man. Shardul Thakur, right-handed batsman, is the new man. Nine runs from the over. IND - 167/6 (18); Pandey - 18, Thakur - 1.
8:23 PM IST: Angelo Mathews returns for his third over. Virat Kohli takes a single off the first ball, then hits the next for a big six, into the sightscreen. A single, then a low full toss to Kohli. Dispatches for a four to fine leg. A double to backward square leg. 16 runs from the over. IND - 158/4 (17); Pandey - 12, Kohli - 25.
8:18 PM IST: Last over for Wanindu Hasaranga. Two singles and a double. Four runs from the over. IND - 142/4 (16); Pandey - 11, Kohli - 10. 30 runs and two wickets in the last four overs. Hasaranga.'s figures: 4-0-27-1.
8:15 PM IST: Lakshan Sandakan on with his last over. A dot, then a four as Virat Kohli finds the space at deep mid-wicket. Four more singles and eight runs from the over. IND - 138/4 (15); Pandey - 8, Kohli - 9. Sandakan's figures: 4-0-35-3.
8:13 PM IST: Lahiru Kumara returns for his second over. Singles off the second, third and fifth ball, then Manish Pandey hits the last ball for a four, through covers. Seven runs from the over. IND - 130/4 (14); Pandey - 6, Kohli - 3.
8:08 PM IST: Lakshan Sandakan continues. A double off the first ball, and fifty for KL Rahul. He follows it up with a four, straight one. Then wicket. Rahul stumped (54 off 36). Shreyas Iyer is the new man. He hits the first ball for a four, a good looking cut shot. Then wicket. Caught and bowled. Virat Kohli is the new man. 11 runs and two wickets. IND - 123/4 (13); Pandey - 1, Kohli - 1.
8:01 PM IST: Wanindu Hasaranga continues. KL Rahul takes a single off the first, followed by a single. Then the wicket. Traps Sanju Samson (6 off 2) in front. Manish Pandey is the new man. A single, then Rahul hits a four. A single to end the over. Nine from it. IND - 112/2 (12); Rahul - 48, Pandey - 1.
7:56 PM IST: Lakshan Sandakan continues. KL Rahul takes a single to rotate the strike. Another single as Shikhar Dhawan completes his fifty. in 34 balls. A single, then a double. Then, the wicket. Dhawan (52 off 36) holes out at deep mid-wicket. Catch taken by Gunathilaka. New man Sanju Samson, starts with a six, over long-off. 11 runs from the over. IND - 103/1 (11); Rahul - 40, Samson - 6.
7:50 PM IST: Wanindu Hasaranga continues. Shikhar Dhawan hits the first ball for a six, over deep mid-wicket. Two singles, then a dot. Two more singles. Ten runs from the over. IND - 92/0 (10); Rahul - 38, Dhawan - 49.
7:47 PM IST: Double bowling change. Lakshan Sandakan, chinaman bowler, on. Five singles and a leg bye. Six runs. IND - 82/0 (9); Rahul - 36, Dhawan - 41.
7:43 PM IST: Bowling change. Wanindu Hasaranga, right-arm leg break, on. Four singles.IND - 76/0 (8); Rahul - 33, Dhawan - 39.
7:39 PM IST: Angelo Mathews returns for his second over. A single, then Shikhar Dhawan takes a double, to extra cover. A wide, then a four past backward point fielder. Dutile attempt to stop the ball. Two dots, then a single to end the over. Nine runs from the over. IND - 72/0 (7); Rahul - 31, Dhawan - 37.
7:33 PM IST: Bowling change. Lahiru Kumara, right-arm fast-medium pacer, on. A single, then Shikhar Dhawan hits back-to-back fours -- first to backward point, then through covers. A single, then a dot, then a quick single. 11 runs from the over. IND - 63/0 (6); Rahul - 30, Dhawan - 30.
7:28 PM IST: Lasith Malinga continues. Three on the trot. Strange tactics. A double to fine leg, then a single to deep square leg. Luck running India's way. A very good delivery and Shikhar Dhawan gets a fine edge for a four. Should have been a regulation catch for first slip. Two singles, then Dhawan flicks the last ball past mid-on fielder for another four. 13 runs from the over. IND - 52/0 (5); Rahul - 28, Dhawan - 21.
7:22 PM IST: Bowling change. Dhananjaya de Silva, right-arm off break, replaces Angelo Mathews. A single off the first ball, then Shikhar Dhawan lofts the second over mid-off for his second four. A single then a dot. KL Rahul hits the fifth ball for a six, over fine leg. A low full toss, and Rahul makes de Silva pay. A single to mid-off to end the 13-run over. IND - 39/0 (4); Rahul - 24, Dhawan - 12.
7:18 PM IST: Lasith Malinga continues. Three singles and one leg-bye. Brilliant from the skipper. IND - 26/0 (3); Rahul - 16, Dhawan - 7.
7:12 PM IST: Angelo Mathews shares the new ball with Lasith Malinga. Two dots then Shikhar Dhawan flicks the third ball and dropped catch. Completely misjudged the catch at deep square leg by Dasun Shanaka. A single then KL Rahul hits the fifth ball for a four, to sweeper cover. Wow. Rahul times the next delivery to perfection and he hesitantly runs. Four through covers. 13 runs from the over. IND - 22/0 (2); Rahul - 14, Dhawan - 6.
7:06 PM IST: Busy first over. Three singles, two wides and a four off the last ball, hit by KL Rahul to backward point boundary. Nine runs from the over.
7:00 PM IST: KL Rahul faces the first ball. Shikhar Dhawan is his opening partner. Lasith Malinga with the new ball.
6:54 PM IST: "Finally, finally, and finally Sanju Samson gets his much-deserved opportunity!" HERE are some quick fan reactions.
6:42 PM IST: Sri Lanka XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (w), Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Lakshan Sandakan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga (c), Lahiru Kumara.
6:40 PM IST: Malinga at toss - There might be dew in the second innings. Our top-four batsmen need to get big runs. We have two changes. Angelo and Lakshan Sandakan in.
6:38 PM IST: So, India XI - Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli (c), Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson (wk), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.
6:36 PM IST: Kohli at the toss - we actually wanted to bat fist. Toss was almost irrelevant. We wanted to bat, try something different. Three changes today. Sanju Samson comes in place of Rishabh Pant. Chahal replaces Kuldeep who gets a rest today and Manish Pandey gets a game in place of Shivam Dube.
6:34 PM IST: Big news. Sanju Samson is playing for India. He's one of the three changes for India. A couple of changes for Sri Lanka too.
6:31 PM IST: TOSS! Lasith Malinga wins toss. Sri Lanka bowl first.
6:23 PM IST: Pitch made for runs, that's what Sunil Gavaskar feels. Murali Karthik probes the legend and they agree -- win toss, and chase. Toss coming up next.
6:14 PM IST: Mahela Jawayardene shares some 'gossips'. Kasun Rajitha and Angelo Mathews will be in Sri Lanka's XI.
Sri Lanka missed Udana's services while defending a meagre 143 against India here on Tuesday after the bowler injured his back just before Sri Lanka went out to bowl. And they somehow, haven't been using Mathews, probably one of their most experienced players.
In the last one year, India have won some (9) and lost some (7). Now, they have a very good chance to complete a third straight T20I series victory with a tenth win in 20 outings. And India should win. Let's see how India approach the third and final T20I match against Sri Lanka at Pune tonight.
Sri Lanka are turning out to be the easiest of the opponents India could face, despite the fact that Islanders, a second-string one, humbled top-ranked Pakistan in their own den only four months ago. One match was enough to fathom the gap between the two sides.
Everything worked for India at Indore after Guwahati wash-out -- won the toss, struck whenever they wanted and chase down the target with the top four hittings 30s. So, what now? There are talks of experiments going on in the Indian camp, with an eye on the World T20.
Rohit Sharma is already rested, and allowed two matchwinners in Jasprit Bumrah and Shikhar Dhawan to make a return. Can India do more, probably tweak the combination and give the likes of Manish Pandey and Sanju Samson game time.
Last year, India started their T20I engagements with a 1-2 series defeat at New Zealand, they lost to Australia 0-2 at home. India did manage to blank the West Indies 3-0 in the Caribbean, then failed to beat South Africa at home, settling with a 1-1 draw. More tests for India followed as Bangladesh and the Windies kept the finale alive. Those were the parts of the cycle before the 2020 World T20 Down Under.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Manish Pandey,Yuzvendra Chahal, Sanju Samson, Shardul Thakur
Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Kusal Perera (wk), Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga (c), Lahiru Kumara, Dhananjaya de Silva,Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan.