NEW DELHI: India strengthened their chances to qualify for the final of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 after recording a comprehensive six-wicket win against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Monday.
India chased down 153 in 17.3 overs with nine deliveries to spare as the middle-order pair of Manish Pandey (42*) and Dinesh Karthik (39*) stitched an unbeaten 68-run stand for the fifth wicket.
4TH T20I: AS IT HAPPENED
The contest was reduced to 19-overs-a-side after a lengthy rain delay.
India lost openers Rohit Sharma (11) and Shikhar Dhawan (8) cheaply before Suresh Raina’s dazzling cameo as he smacked two fours and as many sixes in his 15-ball 27 to offset the advantage Akila Dananjaya had given his team with the scalps of openers. KL Rahul (18), who replaced Rishabh Pant in the playing XI, was looking good during his stay but was dismissed in an unlucky manner, becoming the first Indian batsman and tenth overall, to be out hit-wicket.
When Rahul departed, Sri Lanka had faint hopes with India 85/4 in 9.5 overs but a calm-headed display from Pandey and Karthik ensured India sailed in the chase.
That India were left to chase a rather easy target was thanks to a late flurry of wickets with Shardul Thakur recording a career-best figures of 4/27. Sri Lanka looked set for a big total after they hammered 24 runs in the first two overs but kept losing wickets in a heap. The young attack, led by Shardul and Washington Sundar (2/21), binding the hosts in the second half of the innings after they were sent in to bat.
A pair of sixes kick-started the Sri Lankan innings but India hit back with two quick blows. Then in-form Kusal Mendis (55), who scored his fourth T20I fifty, extended Sri Lanka’s bright start after they lost Danushka Gunathilaka (17) and Kusal Perera (3) in the space of seven deliveries. With Upul Tharanga, Mendis took Yuzvendra Chahal to the cleaners, as the duo clobbered 17 from the leggie’s second over.
After 10 overs, they were 94/2 with Kusal Mendis in red-hot touch. Vijay Shankar broke the stand with the wicket of Tharanga (22) but by that time, the pair had added 62 runs. Stand-in captain Thisara Perera began with back to back sixes off his first two deliveries but Shardul exploited the knuckle delivery to the fullest during his spell to put an early break on his onslaught at 15 (6b).
Chahal had some respite when he dismissed the dangerous Kusal Mendis in his final over of the night, finishing well to end with figures of 1/34 after leaking 27 in his first two overs.
Even though the hosts continued to find a boundary every now and then, Indians kept chipping away. Shardul dismissed Dasun Shanaka (19) and Dushmantha Chameera (0) off consecutive deliveries in the last over but Suranga Lakmal survived the hat-trick ball.
India, after their second win in three matches, climbed up to the top spot in the standings with four points.
Brief Scores: India 153/4 (Manish Pandey 42*, Dinesh Karthik 39*; Akila Dananjaya 2/19) beat Sri Lanka (Kusal Mendis 55; Shardul Thakur 4/27)
Source : timesofindia