Team India register maiden T20I win at Wankhede Stadium against Sri Lanka
Team India register maiden T20I win at Wankhede after whitewashing Lanka 3-0 to end home season on a high
Local boy Shreyas Iyer celebrated his ODI selection for India's forthcoming series in South Africa by playing a sensible innings of 30 off 32 balls (1x4, 1x6) to put India on the road to victory over Sri Lanka in the third and final T20 international last night. This was India's first T20 International win at Wankhede Stadium. Playing his first international game at the Wankhede Stadium, Iyer walked in when India lost KL Rahul with 17 on the board. He and his captain Rohit Sharma were going well until Rohit holed out to deep square leg fielder Kusal Perera off Dasun Shanaka for 27.
Shreyas Iyer en route his 32-ball 30 at his home ground yesterday
Iyer had the home crowd on its feet when he hit the same bowler for a six which sailed over long off. Iyer was sent back in the most unfortunate of circumstances. He was standing out of the crease at the non striker's end when a straight drive from Manish Pandey deflected on to the stumps after hitting off-spinner Akila Dananjaya's hand. Manish Pandey (32), Dinesh Karthik (18 not out) and MS Dhoni (16 not out) ensured India whitewashed their opponents to cap a fine home season in which they didn't lose a series.
India pacer Jaydev Unadkat celebrates a Sri Lankan wicket during the third and final T20I at the Wankhede yesterday. Pics/Suresh Karkera
When Iyer exited in the 14th over, India needed 55 to win and Pandey was playing on 12 off 17 balls, but he accelerated the innings well, hitting two consecutive fours on the leg side off Shanaka before getting out for a 29-ball 32. When Dhoni joined Karthik, India needed 28 in 23 balls. It then came down to getting 15 runs in the last two overs, but Karthik's six over the mid-wicket off a full toss from Nuwan Pradeep changed things in India's favour.
Dhoni then flicked the second delivery of the last over from Thisara Perera to see India through. Earlier, on winning the toss, the Indian bowlers sent back three Sri Lankan batsmen for just 18 runs. Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat kicked things off when opener Niroshan Dickwella (1) failed to clear the mid-on fielder while going for a lofted shot and Mohammed Siraj took an easy catch.
Off-spinner Washington Sundar, 18, who became the youngest debutant in T20Is for India, opened the bowling and took only 12 balls to take his first wicket. He compelled one-drop Kusal Perera (4) to offer an easy return catch. Unadult earned his second scalp in the form of Upul Tharanga (11 off 11 balls). Tharanga lost his cool while going for a slog off and Hardik Pandya made no mistake while taking a good catch at deep midwicket.
However, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Asela Gunaratne put on 38 for the fourth wicket. Though all-rounder Hardik Pandya got rid of Samarawickrama (21 off 17 balls), Gunaratne enjoyed a life when Dhoni dropped him behind the wickets on 11 off wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav. Gunaratne went on to score 36 with the help of three hits to the fence. No. 8 batsman Shanaka remained unbeaten on 29, while No. 9 Dananjaya scored an unbeaten 11 off seven balls. The final over bowled by Siraj cost India 18 runs which included two boundaries and a six.
37 Number of matches India have won across all formats this year — the second most by any team after Australia (38)
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