Celebrating his 24th birthday in style, leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga showed exactly why he is ranked as the No. 2 T20I bowler in the world, taking four for 9 as India limped to 81 for eight in 20 overs.
On a ‘day of leggies,’ Rahul Chahar took three for 15, but Dhananjaya de Silva and Hasaranga helped the hosts overcome the meagre target. Sri Lanka — who had lost five previous T20I series before this one — ended India’s eight-series unbeaten run in T20Is, that began in 2019! While India won the ODI series 2-1, they ended the tour on a dismal note.
#TeamIndia fought hard but Sri Lanka win the T20I series decider by 7 wickets to clinch the series 2-1.Scorecard… https://t.co/R4wfr12mPM
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1627582199000
Hasaranga began trapping the Indian batsmen in his magical web in his first over itself, having Sanju Samson and Ruturaj Gaikwad lbw. The leggie later scalped Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was caught superbly by a diving Lankan skipper Dashun Shanaka, and Varun Chakravarthy (0) with another googly to finish with incredible figures of 4-0-9-4.
India would’ve been bowled out for a much worse score had bowlers Kuldeep Yadav (23 not out off 28 balls) and Bhuvneshwar (16 off 32 balls) not saved them the blushes after they were reduced to 36 for five in nine overs. India logged their third-lowest total ever in T20Is.
While Hasaranga was outstanding, the other Lankan bowlers were good too. Shanaka took a couple of superb catches, and finished with 2-20 in four overs, while Akila Dananjaya conceded just 11 runs in four overs.
India’s disastrous show with the bat can’t just be excused by the fact that they were missing eight regulars — all isolating after Krunal Pandya tested Covid positive—and had just five specialist batsmen available for the last two games of this tour.
Sharing the wisdom 🇱🇰🤝🇮🇳A brilliant gesture by Indian Captain 🙌#SLvIND https://t.co/gLFvn3EUo6
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) 1627585757000
It’s a worrying sign that India’s ‘Gen-next’ batsmen, who look so good on true pitches in the IPL, were clueless on a turner against the Lankan spinners. Their poor technique cost them heavily.
Electing to bat, India stumbled badly at the start itself as skipper Shikhar Dhawan and Samson were out for ducks, with Gaikwad (14) being the only top-order batsman who managed to reach double figures.
Four of their batsmen were back in the hut in the first five overs. Dhawan was out for a ‘golden duck’ as he edged the fourth ball of the match from Dushmantha Chameera to the lone slip.
Debut for Warrier
Meanwhile, India were hampered further when pacer Navdeep Saini, who injured his shoulder while fielding in the second T20I, was forced to miss the third match. Kerala paceman Sandeep Warrier made his international debut, replacing Saini.