India broke skepticism over its T20 form in the first face-off against Sri Lanka at Cuttack. Playing with only a single specialist spinner, Sri Lanka trusted its seam attacks when it chose to bowl first. But, ground conditions did not support the attack, visitor bowlers losing it all to India’s strike. There were full tosses erupting as uncontrolled deliveries, which home batsmen sent straight to boundaries.
With an attacking strike, India put up 180 for 3 for Sri Lanka to scale. In the chase, it was again India bowlers dominating the inning. There was no such intricate ensemble to tackle Sri Lanka. The rough game plan emerged enough for the visitors. Sri Lanka was all out at 87 runs, losing the match by 93 runs.
India set off with the short partnership of five overs between Rohit Sharma and Lokesh Rahul bringing 38 runs in the stretch. The strike rate never fell in the inning, while, players forged partnerships to steer the momentum. The second wicket partnership between Shreyas Iyer and Rahul hauled India’s score to 101 runs at the end of 13th over. The pair scored 63 runs together, leaving the crease at a gap of a single over.
The final partnership thumping down Sri Lanka bowlers was between MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey. There were extensive boundary blitzes in the last five overs as the players put up 70 plus runs. Dhoni scored 39, while Manish Pandey scored 32, both remaining unbeaten.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, was all outpaced by India spinners. The batting line-up lasted for 16 overs attacked by Yuzvendra Chahal and Co. Niroshan Dickwella felt in the second over, starting the slog at the second over off Jaydev Unadkat.
Upul Tharanga, meanwhile, bombarded two sixes off Hardik Pandya in the following over. This is when Chahal came up with its attacks. With Kuldeep Yadav taking two wickets, the bowler dismantled the middle order. Chahal finished with 4 wickets for 23 runs. After the 13th over, Sri Lanka’s chase stranded at 70 for 7 wickets. In the next three overs, Hardik Pandya attacked to scalp the last three wickets.
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