An all-round Indian side thumped Sri Lanka by 38 runs in the first T20 International in Colombo on Sunday. Suryakumar Yadav continued his rich vein of form with an another attractive half-century as India posted 164 for 5. India then bowled out Sri Lanka for just 126 in 18.3 overs to go up 1-0 in the three-match series. Bhuvneshwar Kumar ended with four wickets, a few easy ones towards the end. Deepak Chahar got two while the other bowlers got one each. Yuzvendra Chahal was the pick of the bowlers with 1 for 19.
Sri Lanka raced to 20 in the first two overs before M Bhanuka hit Krunal Pandya to extra cover in the third over. Avishka Fernando, though, kept going as Sri Lanka raced to 44 in the first five overs.
India’s debutant Varun Chakravarthy conceded only two runs in his first over, the sixth of the innings, to add pressure. Yuzvendra Chahal added to it with a beauty that bowled Dhananjaya de Silva. Soon, Avishka Fernando slogged Bhuvneshwar Kumar to the deep as Sri Lanka slipped to 50 for 3 in 7.1 overs.
Charith Asalanka fought at one end while Ashen Bandara struggled for 9 off 19, killing all momentum before being bowled by Hardik Pandya. Asalanka made a fighting 44 off 26 but once he fell to Deepak Chahar in the 16th over, Sri Lanka’s hopes ended.
Earlier, Suryakumar’s second T20I half-century was complemented by useful contributions from skipper Shikhar Dhawan (46 off 38 balls) along with Ishan Kishan (20 not out off 14 balls) at the back-end.
Skipper Dhawan added 62 with Surya in eight overs to provide a solid launch-pad but the latter’s dismissal surely cost India 20 extra runs.
But looking at the partnership, it was evident that the junior partner was batting in a more assured manner, having already sealed his place in the T20 World Cup team while the skipper is still fighting what looks like a losing battle to jostle inside that jam-packed top-order in the main squad.
There was a six over deep mid-wicket off Akila Dananjaya but the innings did lack the punch despite four more boundaries.
It was Surya’s five fours and a six that really helped Kishan and Hardik to launch the final assault.
At the start, Prithvi Shaw had a forgettable T20 International debut as Dushmantha Chammera’s (2/24 in 4 overs) outswinger found the edge of his bat off the very first delivery of the match.
Sanju Samson (27 off 20 balls) hit his customary six while batting like a millionaire before Wanindu Hasaranga (2/28 in 4 overs) trapped him with a googly.
Surya as usual was in his free-flowing self, hitting those whiplash on-drives, cover drives and ramp shots which is a sight to watch both against pacers and spinners.
However what was exhilarating was how Surya picked all those back-of-the-hand slower deliveries from seamers Isuru Udana and Chamika Karunaratne.
Udana was dispatched with a conventional sweep shot for boundary while Karunaratne was slog swept for a six.
When Hasaranga came for his last over, he went inside-out to loft him for a straight six to complete his fifty but the leg-spinner had the last laugh as he was not afraid to flight once more and this time the inside-out chip shot didn’t have required wings to soar over the ropes.
His dismissal did rob India a chance to score 175 plus.