New Delhi: Team India’s combined effort helped them India defeat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the fourth match of the Nidahas Trophy Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket tri-series at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Colombo on Monday. Also Read - Protests in Sri Lanka After Kumar Sangakkara Questioned For Nearly 10 Hours in 2011 World Cup Final Fixing Probe
Chasing 152/9 target in a match which was curtailed to 19 overs due to rain, Rohit Sharma (11) and Shikhar Dhawan (8) could not provide the start India wanted. The duo was sent back to the pavilion in the fourth over with only 22 runs on board. Later, new batsmen Lokesh Rahul (18) and Suresh Raina (27), who were looking good at the crease, were dismissed after getting a good start. Also Read - BCCI to Not Sever Ties With IPL Title Sponsor VIVO if Exit Clause Favours The Chinese Company
The first one to go was Raina in the seventh over. His time at the crease was cut short by Nuwan Pradeep when the scoreboard was reading 62 runs. Also Read - Sri Lanka Legend Kumar Sangakkara Asked to Give Statement in 2011 World Cup Final Fixing Probe: Reports
Three overs later, Rahul got hit-wicket off Jeevan Mendis.
But after that, Manish Pandey (42) and Dinesh Karthik (39) played sensibly and made sure that their team overhaul the target without any more hiccups. Together they forged an unbeaten 68-run partnership.
For Sri Lanka, Akila Dananjaya took two wickets.
Earlier, put in to bat, Sri Lanka posted 152/9. The hosts lost their wickets at regular intervals. Apart from opener Kusal Mendis (55), no other batsmen contributed handsomely.
The hosts started on a steady note but when the scoreboard was reading 25 runs in three overs, opener Danushka Gunathilaka (17) was dismissed by pacer Shardul Thakur.
Incoming batsmen Kusal Perera (3) also failed this time and was sent packing cheaply by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the very next over.
With the scoreboard reading 34/2, Mendis and new batsman Upul Tharanga (22) joined hands and forged a 58-run partnership to stabilise the innings.
Just when things seemed good in the middle, Tharanga was sent back by pacer Vijay Shankar in the 11th over, making the score read 96/3.
Skipper Thisara Perera (15) also failed to rise to the occasion and gifted away his wicket to Thakur when he was needed the most.
Lower middle-order batsmen Jeevan Mendis (5), Dasun Shanaka (19), Akila Dananjaya (5) tried to score quickly towards the end but could not provide the finish Sri Lanka wanted.
For India, Thakur scalped four wickets while Washington Sundar took two wickets.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 152/9 (Kusal Mendis 55, Shardul Thakur 4/27); India 153/4 (Manish Pandey 42 not out, Dinesh Karthik 39 not out, Akila Dananjaya 2/19). (With IANS inputs)