Sri Lanka lost the opening T 20 match to India by 93 runs at Cuttack yesterday. Sri Lanka captain Thisara Perera’s regular faith in putting the opposition in to bat on winning the toss backfired with India piling up their highest ever T20 total of 180 for the loss of 3 wickets in 20 overs.
India’s run orgy was mounted by K.L. Rahul who struck 61 off 48 balls inclusive of 7 boundaries and a six. The first wicket realised 38 in 4.6 overs when skipper Rohit Sharma exited for 17 caught by Dushmantha Chameera off Angelo Mathews. Rahul went on to post 63 for the second wicket with S.S. Iyer who made 24 off 20 balls striking 3 boundaries. Iyers wicket was claimed by Nuwan Pradeep who had him caught behind by wicket keeper Niroshan Dickwella. Rahul departed 11 runs later bowled by Thisara Perera by which time India was 112 for 3 in 14.3 overs.. From there, the Sri Lankan bowlers failed to make a breakthrough with the fourth wicket pair of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and M.K. Pandey adding 68 in 5.3 overs. India had maintained 9 runs per over.
Sri Lanka failed to match that asking rate losing wickets in a regular momentum with Dickwella falling with the total on 15 in the fourth ball of the second over of the innings bowled by Unadkat. He made 13 striking one boundary. Upul Tharanga flattered and faltered in a lusty strike of two sixes and a boundary for 23 off 16 perishing in the fifth ball of the fifth over to the wily spin of Y.S. Chahal who had him caught behind by Dhoni. Chahal went on to be the bogey man causing the slide with tthree more frontline wickets of Kusal Janith Perera who batted at No.3 for 19, Mathews for 1 and Asela Gunaratne for 4. From there only No. 9 Dushmantha Chameera reached double figures making 12 as Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals. It was another disappointing run with the bat for skipper Perera who made just 3. Chahal wound up with figures of 4 for 23 from 4, H.H. Pandya 3 for 29 and Kuldeep Yadav 2 for 18.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-