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India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20I: SKY’s Ton & Bowling Unit’s Excellence Helped India Win the Series 2-1

It’s the series decider today and India won the toss and opted to bat first. Ishan Kishan and Shubhman Gill opened the attack for India while Madushanka bowled the opener. Things didn’t start pretty well for India as Ishan was dismissed at 1 (2) by Madushanka in the very first over. Tripathi and Shubman Gill tried to push the scoreboard in the powerplay overs. However, Tripathi succumbed to Karunaratne in the last over of the PP, scoring 35 off 16. After 6 overs, India managed to put 53-2. SKY and Shubman were on the crease and were hitting sixes one after the other in the 7th and 8th over. The duo successfully helped India to put 92-2 in 10 overs.

After the drinks break, India geared up the scoring pace and SKY completed his 14th half century. Shubman Gill got clean bowled by Hasaranga at 46 (36), breaking the century stand of SKY and Gill. After 15 overs, India were on 164-3. SKY continued to blossom and kept scoring 6s and 4s and SL bowlers didn’t have any answer to his cricketing shots. He is magnificent with the bat. India lost Pandya and Hooda in the 16th and 17th over, respectively. But, this couldn’t stop SKY much and he completed his century in T20I in 45 deliveries. The second fastest for India after Rohit.

SKY is the first player to hit three T20I centuries outside the opening slot. India successfully posted 228-5 in 20 overs.

In the run chase, Nissanka and Mendis came at crease and Mendis slapped consecutive sixes to Pandya and gave Sri Lanka the steady start. However, Axar sent Kusal Mendis back to pavilion at 23. Sri Lanka lost both openers in the PP and the score was 51-2 in 6 overs. Soon Pandya removed Avishka Fernando from the crease at 1(3), breaking the backbone of Sri Lanka. India gained a firm grip over the match at this moment as SL needed 174 off 81 balls. Dhananjaya de Silva gets going with a cracking pull. Malik concedes 15 runs in the 8th over. Mavi completes a fine running catch; Avalanche falls for 19. Chahal strikes in his 2nd over as well, Dhananjaya de Silva holes out for 21. Hasaranga found the boundary and then holes out next ball, Umran with the wicket. Shanaka hammered Chahal for 15 runs in the 14th over. Hardik Pandya trapped Karunaratne in front for a duck.

All the bowlers had a good time out there, notably the spinners who did a fine job.

Sri Lanka was dismissed for 137 and India closed the game with 91 runs.

There was a bit of grip for the slower deliveries, and that makes SKY’s innings all the more incredible. To state the obvious, his innings just batted Sri Lanka out of the game at the halfway mark itself. The score was about 20-30 runs above par and India were clinical in their plans with the ball. Hardik will be happy with his team’s attitude in this decider game, especially considering how the bowling was taken apart last game at Pune. For SL, there are a lot of positives from the series, because they did stretch India in two of the three games.

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