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India crush SL by 7 wickets in 2nd T20

India crush SL by 7 wickets in 2nd T20
Saini (R) celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka''s Bhanuka Rajapaksa on Tuesday.
Indore, Jan 7 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 1/7/2020 12:56:30 PM IST

India could not have asked for a better start to the T20 World Cup year as they thrashed Sri Lanka in the 2nd match of the ongoing 3-match series in Indore on Tuesday.

The hosts have now sealed an unbeatable 1-0 lead against the Sri Lankan side which looked ordinary in Indore.

KL Rahul continued from where he left in 2019 as he took apart the Sri Lankan bowling attack in the powerplay. The in-form opener missed out on a fifty but he did the job with a 45 off 32 balls at the Holkar Stadium.

KL Rahul and comeback man Shikhar Dhawan (32 off 29 balls) gave India a solid start with a 71-run stand for the opening stand. 

There was never really any doubt over which way the match was going to go after the solid opening partnership for India. Despite losing the two openers in quick succession, India were never really in any kind of trouble.

Shreyas Iyer came in at No. 3 and kept the scorers busy. The Mumbai batsman fell for a well-made 34 off 26 balls. Captain Virat Kohli, who became the leading run-scorer in T20I cricket on Tuesday, was impressed with himself when he hit a couple of huge sixes towards the end of the match.

Kohli remained unbeaten on 30 (17 balls) and sealed the win with a six in the 18th over. India got the chase done and dusted with 15 balls and 7 wickets to spare.

The India chase looked a mere formality, thanks to the bowlers who began their New Years on a high. While Shardul Thakur topped the wicket-takers charts with 3 wickets, Navdeep Saini was the pick of the bowlers as he rattled the Sri Lankan batsmen with pace and finished with figures of 2/18 in 4 overs.

Washington Sundar began the proceedings for Team India when he picked up the wicket of Avishka Fernando who looked in good touch in the powerplay. With Kuldeep Yadav chipping in with 2 wickets, India bowlers kept striking at regular intervals and put the brakes on the Sri Lankan scoring rate.

Kusal Perera (34) was the only Sri Lankan batsman who looked comfortable out in the middle but he was not able to convert his start into a big one, thanks to Kuldeep who picked up his wicket at a crucial juncture.

Shardul Thakur made sure there was no late surge from Sri Lanka by picking up 3 wickets in the penultimate over of the game.

Having sealed a 1-0 lead, India will look to clinch the series when they take on Sri Lanka in the 3rd and final T20I on Friday in Pune.

Brief scores: 

Sri Lanka 142/9 (Kusal Perera 34; Shardul Thakur 3/23) lost to India 144/3 (KL Rahul 45; Wanindu Hasaranga 2/30) by 7 wickets

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