India exact sweet revenge

Colombo: Manish Pandey (42 n o, 31b, 3×4, 1×6) and Dinesh Karthik (39 n o, 25b, 5×4) led India to a comprehensive six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in a rain-hit match of the Nidahas Trophy T20I tri-series here, Monday.
India, inspired by superb bowling efforts by pacer Shardul Thakur (4/27) and young all-rounder Washington Sundar (2/21), restricted the hosts for 153/9 in the first innings of the match that was reduced to 19-over-a-side due to rain.
Chasing a modest total, India overcame some early hiccups to notch up an impressive win to lead the three-team table with four points. Skipper Rohit Sharma’s (11) lean patch continues as he yet again failed to score big while his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan (8), who had two successive half centuries in the series before the match, failed to continue his good run. The openers’ departure reduced India to 22/2 inside four overs.
However, KL Rahul (18), playing his first match in the series, added 40 runs with Suresh Raina (27) before the left-hander got out. Rahul was the next man to be dismissed when he smashed the stumps off his boot. But, Pandey and Karthik ensured India there will be no more hiccups, adding an unbeaten 68-run stand for the fifth wicket. Akila Dananjaya (2/19) bowled well for the hosts.
Earlier, Sri Lanka lost their way in the middle overs after Kusal Mendis’ (55, 38b, 3×4, 3×6) belligerent knock to be restricted to 152 for nine.
Sent into bat, Mendis once again shone bright for Sri Lanka before Indian bowlers led by the player of the match Thakur brought their side back into the game with wickets at regular intervals.
But initially it looked Rohit’s decision to bowl first backfired as Sri Lanka got off to a flier scoring 24 runs off the first two overs. However, India pulled things back bit with two wickets in back-to-back overs.
Thakur gave India the breakthrough when he dismissed Danushka Gunathilaka (17) in the third over with Raina taking a stunning catch at mid-wicket. Sundar then cleaned up in-form Kushal Perera (3) in the next over as the batsman went for an expansive reverse sweep.
But thereafter Kusal Mendis took the Indians bowlers to task in Upul Tharanga’s (22) company as the duo added 62 runs for the third wicket to help Sri Lanka reach 94 for two after 10 overs. Vijay Shankar (1/30) broke the dangerous-looking partnership when he bowled Tharanga in the 11th over.


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