By Srian Obeyesekere
With the exception of the first three batsmen Niroshan Dickwella (25), Upul Tharanga (47) and Kusal Janith Perera (77), the rest of the Sri Lankan specialist batsmen must rue their inability to have come good in the second T20 that India won on a massive 260 for 5 wickets. The mountainous Indian total certainly was a tall order for Sri9 Lanka, but it was lamentable that Sri Lanka collapsed from 155 for 3 wickets to 172 all out in 17.2 overs.
Kusal Janith Perera’s half century off 37 balls and in 43 minutes inclusive of 4 boundaries and spiced with a rain of 7 sixes was a fantasic effort as the left hander put on 102 for the second wicket with Upul Tharanga, the former captain. Tharanga’s 47 off 29 balls and in 59 minutes containing 3 boundaries and 2 sixes did see the pair add the spicy tempo Sri lanka needed to challenge India’s run orgy that was fronted by an out of this world 118-run assault by skipper Rohit Sharma. By the time Tharanga exited Sri Lanka had consumed 13.2 overs with the total on 145. At that stage Sri Lanka required another 116 to win off 6.4 overs which was realistically out of the equation. But that the rest batting bar Kusal Janith Perera, who departed with the total on 155 in 14.2 overs, fell like nine pins was lamentable. The slump was magnified by the fact that 7 wickets fell for the addition of only 17 runs. This included skipper Thisara Perera and Asela Gunaratne both for ducks. It marked a poor run by the captain with the bat that has continued from the ODI series while Gunaratne displayed indiscretion once again as in the previous game becaming a stumped victim on successive occasions that marked two failures, He was followed by Sadeera Samarawickrema who made 5 also falling a stumped victim followed by Chathuranga de Silva for 1 on a day India’s spin machinery of Y.S. Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav dominated. The duo shared 7 wickets between them with Chahal claiming 4 for 52 and Yadav 3 for 52. Sri Lanka was unfortunate to miss the batting services of Angelo Mathews who was suffering from a foot cramp. Fall of wickets:
Sri Lankan skipper Thisara Perera’s option of winning the toss and putting India in to bat once again ran in to trouble with India once again mounting a huge total. Rohit Sharma led from the front with another masterly century striking 118 off only 43 balls and in 61 minutes to achieve the record for the joint fastest T20 century. He was associated in a whirlwind 165-run alliance with K.L. Rahul who struck 89 off 49 balls and in 94 minutes spanning 5 boundaries and 8 sixes. Sharma was the first to depart caught by Akila Dananjaya off Dushmantha Chameera in the fourth ball of the thirteenth over while Rahul exited next caught behind by Dickwella off Nuwan Pradeep with the total on 243. He was associated in a 78-run partnership for the second wicket with Mahendra Singh Dhoni who made 28 off 21 and in 41 minutes striking 2 boundaries and two sixes. Dhoni was clean bowled by Perera with the total on 255.
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-