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India vs Sri Lanka: Wanindu Hasaranga Stars as India Score Only 81, SL Win Series Easily

Sri Lanka restricted India to 81 for 8 in 20 overs. pic - AP

Sri Lanka restricted India to 81 for 8 in 20 overs. pic - AP

Wanindu Hasaranga's incredible spell of 4 for 9 exposed India's issues against spin and kept them to 81 for 8 in 20 overs, setting up Sri Lanka's 2-1 series triumph

Wanindu Hasaranga’s incredible spell of 4 for 9 exposed India’s issues against spin and kept them to 81 for 8 in 20 overs, setting up Sri Lanka’s 2-1 series triumph with a comfortable seven-wicket win in the third and final Twenty20 International in Colombo. Sri Lanka chased down the paltry target in just 14.3 overs to break India’s T20I winning streak; India had won eight on the trot prior to this.
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It also broke Sri Lanka’s losing streak, they had lost five T20I series in a row prior to this.

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Hasaranga made the Indians dance to his tunes on his 24th birthday while Akila Dananjaya too troubled the young batsmen, who are used to playing on placid IPL tracks where the ball comes on to the bat nicely.

The foot work of the Indians against the spinners did not inspire any confidence, looking into future, as they remained doubtful whether to play on front-foot or the back-foot.

Only three Indian batsmen could manage the double-digit score with number seven Kuldeep Yadav being the best with his 23-run unbeaten knock.

Such was the dominance of the home bowlers that India hit only four boundaries in entire 20-over innings.

The Sri Lankans threw themselves on the field, plucking some sensational catches and stopping runs as well with agile efforts.

The pitch was much better than the one used for the second match and it helped the bowlers as well as stroke-play, making it an even contest.

There was bounce available and pacer Dushmantha Chameera hit the deck hard to get one to fly, which Shikhar Dhawan (0) could not connect properly, just managing an edge that was taken in slips.

Devdutt Padikkal, who looked in sublime touch, and Ruturaj Gaikwad, played some fluent shots before the hosts suddenly turned the heat on the Indians.

First Padikkal (9) was run out and and then wrist spinner Hasaranga caused a flutter by dismissing Sanju Samson (0) and Gaikwad (14) in a space of three balls.

Samson went on back foot to miss the line when he should have been defending on the front foot while Gaikwad offered the front foot but was hoodwinked by a googly and was adjudged leg-before.

It left India reeling at 25 for four inside the Power-play.

If that was not enough, the home skipper piled on India’s misery by pulling off a stunning return catch to spell the ouster of Nitish Rana (6). At the half-way stage, India were reeling at 39 for five.

From there on, it was a matter of when and how the Indian innings would fold.

 In reply, Sri Lanka had it easy largely although Rahul Chahar troubled them occasionally. He had Avishka Fernando caught and bowled, Minod Bhanuka lbw and Sadeera Samarawickrama bowled to finish with 3 for 15 from 4 overs. Those were the only three Sri Lankan wickets to fall.
But the target was so low that Sri Lanka felt no pressure despite Chahar’s strikes. Fittingly, Hasaranga, and Dhananjaya de Silva, were in the middle when Sri Lanka won.
(PTI and Cricketnext staff)

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first published:July 29, 2021, 23:08 IST