A Covid outbreak, a short shower, a few lucky umpiring decisions and a composed innings from DDS : all helped Sri Lanka level the the T20I series against India last night.
A depleted Indian XI, without the services of some of their first choice players due to a mini covid outbreak after All-rounder Krunal Pandya tested positive the previous day, still put on a good fight against the Lankans who continued to make silly mistakes.
There were couple of missed opportunities for India yesterday. A dropped catch, a missed review and a couple of fielding errors made sure the pressure was released from Sri Lanka at crucial moments.
Sri Lanka weren’t clinical by any means. In fact, they should feel very lucky to walk away with a win after a scratchy performance with the bat, after the bowlers held their nerve to restrict India to a manageable total.
The fact that Sri Lanka chose to field first itself raised a few eyebrows. Captain Dasun Shanaka acknowledging it’s a used wicket and still wanted to field first was a poor strategic decision to say the least, considering the fact that the wicket could take more turn in the 2nd innings. Shikhar Dhawan said he would have batted too. Which sounded like the sensible thing to do after winning the toss.
During the Chase, Sri Lanka made too many errors. The inexperience in the Indian bowling lineup failed to capitalize on them and make Sri Lanka pay for their mistakes.
Captain Shanaka inexplicably came out to bat at No.4 and looked like he has no idea what’s coming out of Indian spinners’ hands. Before that, Minod Bhanuka threw his wicket away after getting a good start. Sadeera Samarawickrama didn’t have any clue to Varun’s mystery.
Wanindu Hasaranga who almost took the game away from India slashed at a wide one from Chahar and Ramesh Mendis having come to bat ahead of Chamika Karunaratne, skied a Chetan Sakariya slow ball.
It was left to experienced DDS and young gun and Sri Lanka’s new Mr. Dependable Chamika Karunaratne to huff and puff at the end to win the match in the last over.
India might have to draw in one of their net bowlers today with Navdeep Saini getting injured last night while fielding. This is one opportunity Sri Lanka didn’t plan for, but would not want to miss out either – a rare chance to beat India in a T20I series.