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1st T20I: Inexperienced Sri Lanka halts Indian juggernaut

Sri Lanka rode on a strong bowling performance to bundle out India for a meagre 101 runs and then reach the target with five wickets in hand to win the first Twenty20 International at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Tuesday

Pune: All theories of India being a superior side, and the in-form side against an depleted Sri Lankan outfit went for a toss at the MCA Stadium here yesterday, as the visitors completely outplayed the Men In Blue in the first of the three-match T20 series..

India's Shikhar Dhawan (R) looks on as Sri Lankan cricketers celebrate the dismissal of India's Rohit Sharma during the first T20 international match between India and Sri Lanka at the MCA International Cricket Stadium in Pune on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

The Sri Lankans read the conditions better, went in with four quicks, and bowled really well to bowl out the Indians for 101 in less than 19 overs on a lively pitch. On a track that gave the pacers some seam movement, a rarity in T20 cricket, Kasun Rajitha, Dasun Shanaka and Dushmantha Chameera bowled brilliantly to make the most of the conditions.

Over ambitious shots
Some over ambitious shots didn’t help the Indians’ cause either, and a total of 101 was too low to defend, as the visitors got over the finishing line with two overs and five wickets to spare.

At the pre-match press conference on Monday, Dhoni pointed out that in the T20 format, 10 or 12 balls can decide the match, and one hitter on his day can win the game for his side. But it wasn’t about 10-12 balls, but the whole game that was going only one way right from the word go.

Right from the moment Dinesh Chandimal called it correctly to put India into bat to the second ball dismissal of Rohit Sharma; and from Yuvraj Singh’s dismissal that India’s hopes of getting a decent total to Milinda Siriwardana hitting the winning runs, there was only one team that looked like coming out on top.

R Ashwin was the only Indian batsman who looked like getting some runs without taking any risks, and it was his knock of 31 runs off 24 balls that enabled the hosts to get to three-figures. Despite losing a wicket in the first over, SL never looked in any serious trouble as they took minimum risks and played the patience game to perfection. Knowing the target obviously made their task easier, and to be fair to the Indian bowlers, they were just not in the game once their batters were bowled out for 101.

MS Dhoni called the conditions a bit English, and “very helpful to pace bowlers” but there can be no denying the fact that in testing conditions, his men didn’t have a Plan B, barring of course Ashwin.

India vs Sri Lanka: 1st T20I scoreboard

India:

Rohit Sharma c Chameera b Rajitha 0
Shikhar Dhawan c Gunathilaka b Rajitha 9
Ajinkya Rahane c Chandimal b Rajitha 4
Suresh Raina b Shanaka 20
Yuvraj Singh c and b Chameera 10
MS Dhoni c N Dickwella b Shanaka 2
Hardik Pandya lbw b Shanaka 2
Ravindra Jadeja lbw b Senanayake 6
Ravichandran Ashwin not out 31
Ashish Nehra c Siriwardana b Chameera 6
Jasprit Bumrah run out 0

Extras (b 2, lb 1, w 8, nb 0, p 0) 11

Total (all out, 18.5 overs) 101

Fall of wickets: 0-1 (Sharma, 0.2 overs), 5-2 (Rahane, 0.6), 32-3 (Dhawan, 4.6), 49-4 (Raina, 8.2), 51-5 (Dhoni, 8.4), 53-6 (Yuvraj Singh, 9.4), 58-7 (Pandya, 10.6), 72-8 (Jadeja, 13.1), 100-9 (Nehra, 18.4), 101-10 (Bumrah, 18.5)

Bowling:

Kasun Rajitha 4-0-29-3
Thisara Perera 3-11-0-0
Sachithra Senanayake 3-0-18-1
Dushmantha Chameera 3.5-0-14-2
Dasun Shanaka 3-0-16-3
Seekkuge Prasanna 2-0-11-0

Sri Lanka:

Niroshan Dickwella c Dhawan b Nehra 4
Danushka Gunathilaka c Dhawan b Nehra 9
Dinesh Chandimal lbw b Raina 35
Chamara Kapugedera lbw b Ashwin 25
Milinda Siriwardana not out 21
Dasun Shanaka c Raina b Ashwin 3
Seekkuge Prasanna not out 3

Extras (lb 3, w 2) 5

Total (5 wickets; 18 overs) 105

Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Dickwella, 0.3 over), 2-23 (Gunathilaka, 4.3), 3-62 (Kapugedera, 11.3), 4-84 (Chandimal, 14.5), 5-91 (Shanaka, 16.4)

Bowling:

Ashish Nehra 3-0-21-2
Jasprit Bumrah 4-1-19-0
Ravindra Jadeja 3-0-18-0
Hardik Pandya 3-0-18-0
Ravichandran Ashwin 3-0-13-2
Suresh Raina 2-0-13-1

Match details:

Toss - Sri Lanka won the toss, chose to bowl
Umpires - Vineet Kulkarni, Nandan
Third Umpire - Anil Chaudhary
Match Referee - Jeff Crowe

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