Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana and Chetan Sakariya made their debuts as nine players from the Indian camp have been isolated after all-rounder Krunal Pandya tested COVID-19 positive on Tuesday (July 27), forcing the organisers to postpone the game by a day.
Put in to bat, the new opening pair of debutant Gaikwad and Dhawan gave the tourists a sublime start in the powerplay. But Sri Lankan bowlers, especially the spinners Akila Dhanajaya and in-form Wanindu Hasaranga, picked up wickets at regular intervals and prevented Indian batsmen to score big.
Sri Lankan off-spinner Akila Dananjaya (2/29) took two of the five wickets that fell and emerged as the pick of the bowlers for the hosts. He picked up the wickets of Dhawan and Sanju Samson (7) to put a brake on India’s run flow.
Debutant Gaikwad got off to a good start as he scored 21 but failed to convert it into a big score despite facing 18 deliveries. Devdutt Padikkal – another debutant in the game – played some flashy shots in his knock of 29 off 23 deliveries.
The Karnataka batsman hit a brilliant six which was his first boundary in international cricket. Padikkal also seemed promising in his knock on a testing track and played a superb reverse sweep off Hasaranga to get a boundary, but the spinner had the last laugh as he clean bowled the debutant on the very next ball.
After Padikkal’s dismissal, the Sri Lankan bowlers kept tightening the noose around the Indian batsmen and prevented them from scoring freely. Another debutant Nitish Rana too failed to impress as he could only score nine before getting dismissed by pacer Dushmantha Chameera in the final over.
Eventually, India posted 132/5 in the stipulated 20 overs and set a target of 133 for the hosts to chase.
India are leading the series 1-0 after winning the opener by 38 runs.
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