Virat Kohli produced yet another stellar batting masterclass as India defeated Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in the only T20I match played on Wednesday night at R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium.
Kohli went past 1000 runs while chasing in T20Is as he notched up a classic 82 off 54 balls and added 119 runs for the 3rd wicket with Manish Pandey (51*) as the visitors chased down Sri Lanka’s 170 with 4 balls to spare.
At the start of the run-chase, Rohit Sharma was dismissed by Lasith Malinga for 9 and KL Rahul was sent back to the dug-out courtesy a superb, flying catch by Dasun Shanaka at short cover off Seekkuge Prasanna.
With this win, India capped off their most successful tour of Sri Lanka, winning all 9 games across 3 formats. This is only the second instance of a side sweeping its opponents in all three formats in a series. Australia had wiped out Pakistan in 2009-10 where they whitewashed them in three Tests, five One-Day Internationals, and the one-off T20.
Earlier, rain threatened to wash out the game and due to some commendable work by the ground staff, the start of the game was delayed only by 40 minutes.
Dilshan Munaweera who looked out of sorts during the ODI series hit through the line with five fours and four sixes in a blistering innings of 53 off 29 balls to set up the Lankan innings after being sent into bat.
Sri Lankan skipper and opening batsman Upul Tharanga was undone by an inswinging Bhuvneshwar Kumar delivery while his partner Niroshan Dickwella played a rash, irresponsible and premeditated paddle to Jasprit Bumrah watched his timber get disturbed.
Angelo Mathews fell prey to the magic hands of MS Dhoni behind the stumps while Thisara Perera chopped one onto the stumps where as Dasun Shanaka failed to read a googly as right-arm leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal claimed three crucial wickets despite being carted away for 43 runs in his four overs as the hosts slipped from being 99 for 3 to 113 for 6.
Ashan Priyanjan who came into the side in place of injured Milinda Siriwardena scored a run-a-ball 40 on his T20I and put on a crucial 36-run unbeaten stand with number nine Isuru Udana, who hit a 10-ball 19 to help Sri Lanka post a substantial score.
“We were 15-20 runs short. We had a good start. Munaweera batted really well, but we lost momentum from overs 10-14,” said a disappointed Sri Lanka skipper Upul Tharanga.
Man of the Match – Virat Kohli
Sri Lanka – 170/7 (20) Dilshan Munaweera 53, Ashan Priyanjan 40*, Yuzvendra Chahal 3/43, Kuldeep Yadav 2/20.
India – 174/3 (19.2) Virat Kohli 82, Manish Pandey 51*, Seekkuge Prasanna 1/25, Lasith Malinga 1/31.