Pune (Maharashtra): Axar Patel’s blistering 65 of 31 balls and Suryakumar Yadav’s 51 of 36 balls went in vain as India lost to Sri Lanka by 16 runs in a high-scoring match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Thursday.
India conceded seven no-balls and gave away plenty of runs in free hits. Arshdeep Singh overstepped three times in a row in the second over of the innings, becoming the first Indian bowler to bowl a hat-trick of no-balls in T20Is. The speedster created the record for bowling the most number of no-balls in a T20I match by an Indian bowler. All these extras and runs conceded in free hits turned out to be decisive in the end.
Chasing a huge target of 207 runs, the Indian team got off to a poor start as Kasun Rajitha cleaned up Ishan Kishan for 2 and the hosts lost its first wicket for 12. In the same over, they were dealt another blow as they lost opener Shubman Gill for 5 and the total at 21 for 2.
In the very first ball of the third over, India lost the third wicket in the form of debutant Rahul Tripathi for 5 and the team was tottering at 21 for 3.
Skipper Hardik Pandya too failed to make an impact with the bat as he was sent packing for 12 by Chamika Karunaratne and India were now 34 for four wickets.
Deepak Hooda walked in to bat with Suryakumar Yadav and the duo took India’s total beyond the 50-run mark in 7.3 overs.
Wanindu Hasaranga gave India yet another blow by dismissing Hooda for 9 as the hosts lost half of their side for 57.
India desperately needed a partnership and Axar Patel did exactly that with Suryakumar. These two batted sensibly to take India’s total beyond the triple-figure mark in 13.1 overs.
The duo shifted gears and notched up a 50-run partnership for sixth wicket in just 25 balls.
Axar Patel went on to hit some towering sixes to score a half-century in just 20 balls. Suryakumar Yadav notched up his fifty too in just 33 balls.
The 91-run partnership of 42 balls was finally broken as Dilshan Madhushanka got the prized scalp of Surya for 51 which were made in 36 balls. India lost its sixth wicket for 148.
India went past the 150-run mark in 16.3 overs. Shivam Mavi joined Axar and the duo kept India in the hunt by hitting boundaries and sixes.
India needed 21 runs to win of the last over. Dasun Shanaka bowled his first over of the match and got the wicket of dangerous Axar Patel – who scored 65 of 31 balls – to break the 41-run partnership with Mavi.
India fell 16 runs short of the target as Sri Lanka levelled the three-match T20I series 1-1.
Earlier in the day put to bat first, Sri Lanka got off flying start as Arshdeep Singh gave away 19 runs in the second over, after he bowled three no-balls on the trot. The opening duo of Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka continued the carnage as they hammered Indian bowlers all around the ground while gathering boundaries and singles at regular intervals.
Sri Lanka scored 55 runs in the powerplay without losing a wicket and most of that was because of Mendis’ strokeplay.
In the 8th over of the game, Kusal Mendis continued his big-hitting game from the start and slammed a 27-ball half-century to put Sri Lanka on top. In the 9th over Yuzvendra Chahal gave his team a massive breakthrough as he broke an 80-run partnership for an opening wicket, sending Mendis back to the pavilion.Mendis went back to the pavilion after playing a stunning knock of 52 off 31 which was decorated with 3 fours and 4 sixes.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa then came out to bat but the latter could not do much as he was sent packing by Umran Malik on the first delivery of the 10th over.
The left-handed batter, Charith Asalanka then came out to bat. In the 12th over Axar Patel then gave India a big wicket as he dismissed Nissanka for 33 off 35. Nissanka tried to play a big shot but his effort went in vain as debutant Rahul Tripathi made a marvellous move to dismiss the batter. Sri Axar struck again to ease some pressure from Team India as he sent Dhananjaya de Silva packing for just three runs. However, four setbacks did not stop Sri Lanka bowlers from scoring runs as Charith Asalanka hammered Yuzvendra Chahal for 16 runs slamming two back-to-back sixes in the 15th over of the game.
Speedster Umran Malik gave Sri Lanka a double blow on just two deliveries as he dismissed well-set batter Asalanka and Wanindu Hasaranga in the 16th over of the game.
Losing wickets in quick succession did not stop Sri Lanka batters from slamming boundaries as captain Dasun Shanaka hammered Umran Malik for 21 runs. In the 19 th over of the game, Shanaka continued his red-hot form as he slammed Arshdeep Singh for 18 runs.
In the last over Shanaka brought up his fifty in 20 balls while he took his side to a respectable score of 206/6 after early setbacks.
Brief score: Sri Lanka 206/6 in 20 over (Dasun Shanaka 56*, Kusal Mendis 52; Umran Malik 3-48) vs India 190/8 in 20 overs (65, Suryakumar Yadav 51; Dasun Shanaka 2/4).