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Sri Lanka trounce India in third T20 to win series

Last updated on: July 29, 2021 23:30 IST
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Wanindu Hasaranga took four wickets for nine runs and scored an unbeaten 14 as Sri Lanka beat India by seven wickets in the third T20 International and clinched the series 2-1.

IMAGE: Wanindu Hasaranga took four wickets for nine runs and scored an unbeaten 14 as Sri Lanka beat India by seven wickets in the third T20 International and clinched the series 2-1. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

Leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga did the start turn as Sri Lanka beat India by seven wickets in the third and final T20 International to clinch the series 2-1, in Colombo, on Thursday.

Electing to bat first, India, playing with at least two batsmen short, were restricted to 81 for 8, their third lowest total, as Hasaranga scalped four wickets for nine runs in four overs.

 

The bowler then batted doggedly with Dhananjaya de Silva after Sri Lanka were reduced to 56 for 3 in the 12th over, scoring an unbeaten 14 off 9 balls, to help the side through in 14.3 overs.

De Silva was unbeaten on 23 off 20 balls, which included two fours.

Leg spinner Rahul Chahar accounted for all the Sri Lanka wickets, for figures of 3 for 15 in four overs.

Chahar dismissed both the openers -- Avishka Fernando (12) and Minod Bhanuka (18) -- and Sadeera Samarawickrama (6), but the meagre total did not give India a chance to script a comeback.

This is Sri Lanka's first T20 series victory over India. They were beaten in the preceding ODI series 1-2.

Earlier, the inability of India's young batsmen to tackle spin stood exposed in the face of some spirited bowling and fielding. 

Hasaranga (4 for 9) had the Indians dancing to his tune on his 24th birthday while Akila Danajaya too troubled the young batsmen, who are accustomed to playing on placid IPL tracks, where the ball comes on to the bat nicely.

The Indians’ footwork against the spinners did not inspire any confidence, looking into future, as they were left in doubt whether to play on the front-foot or back.

Hasaranga returned exceptional figures as he took four wickets and conceded only nine runs in his four overs.

Sri Lanka's players celebrate the fall of an Indian wicket during the third and final T20 in Colombo on Thursday

IMAGE: Sri Lanka's players celebrate the fall of an Indian wicket during the third and final T20 in Colombo on Thursday. Sri Lanka Cricket/Twitter

Off-spinner Danajaya did not take any wicket but gave away just 11 runs in his four.

Only three Indian batsmen could manage a double-digit score, number seven Kuldeep Yadav being the best with an unbeaten 23.

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

The Sri Lankans were excellent in the field, plucking some sensational catches and stopping runs as well with agile efforts.

The pitch was better than the one used for the second T20 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 backfoot and missed the line when he should have been defending on the front, while Gaikwad offered the frontfoot but was hoodwinked by a googly and adjudged leg-before.

It left India reeling at 25 for 4 inside the Powerplay.

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 5.

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

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