A middle-order collapse paved way for Sri Lanka’s second consecutive defeat in the ongoing Nidahas Trophy. Chasing 153, India cruised to a six-wicket win despite an early wobble.
The chase was led by some smart and steady batting by Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey, who stitched an unbeaten 68-run stand which paved the way for India’s second successive win and took them to the top of the points table.
Having won the toss in Colombo, India decided to bowl in what turned out to be a 19-overs-a-side affair due to a 60-minute delayed start.
Sri Lanka, despite losing early wickets, Kusal Mendis ensured the pressure was sustained with a regular flow of boundaries. Upul Tharanga gave him company for 7.3 overs, which yielded 62 runs, but struggled all along en route his 24-ball 22.
Wickets kept falling at regular intervals and even the runs dried up. Mendis reached his second consecutive half-century of the series but struggled thereafter. Only 44 runs were made in the last eight over for the loss of six wickets to finish on 152 for 9 – a total which would have left them mightily disappointed.
India also began in unconventional fashion with Rohit Sharma looking to go on the aggressive right from the start. Dananjaya soon struck another blow off the first ball of his next over, having the in-form Shikhar Dhawan mistime a slog-sweep.
Raina provided the early momentum that India’s chase needed. Lakmal had him hopping with a short-pitched delivery first-up, but then became too predictable. Taking advantage of that predictability, the southpaw pulled him for a six and a couple of boundaries. His knock was a brief 15-ball 27, but it gave the Indian innings a much-needed spark.
By the time Raina was dismissed, India were left needing around seven an over off the last nine, and Pandey and Karthik had little difficulty in securing that and the men in blue won comfortably in the end by six wickets.
SL 152/9 (19 ov) | K Mendis 55 (38) | Sundar 2/21, Shardul 4/27
IND 153/4 (17.3 ov) | Manish 42* (31), Karthik 39* (25) | Dananjaya 2/19
Result: India won by six wickets