Pune, Jan 5 (Ajit Weekly News) Opener Kiusal Mendis and skipper Dasun Shanaka blasted quick-fire half-centuries as Sri Lanka powered to 206/6 off 20 overs against India in the second T20I at Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium here on Thursday.
Mendis hammered a 31-ball 52 and Shanaka raced to an unbeaten 56 off 22 balls, hitting the fastest fifty on this ground off 20 deliveries as Sri Lanka made merry against an Indian attack that struggled to make a mark.
After Mendis had given the visitors a good start by racing to his fifty off 27 deliveries on being asked to bat first, Shanaka went better as he blazed to a half-century off 20 balls — both of them feasting on some ineffective medium-pace bowling.
Shanaka was totally dominant in the death overs and with Charith Asalanka hammering a 19-ball 37, Sri Lanka blasted 77 runs for loss of two wickets in the last five overs, thus reaching the second-highest score on this ground.
For India, Umran Malik claimed 3-48 while Axar Patel took 2-24. Shivam Mavi, the hero of India’s 2-run victory in the first match, conceded 53 runs without success in four overs while Arshdeep, who was brought in place of Harshal Patel, gave away 37 runs off two overs, sending down five no-balls in the process.
It was a poor performance by the Indians with the ball and barring Umran and Axar, other bowlers were quite ineffective.
Earlier, after a quiet first over sent down by Hardik Pandya, Arshdeep bowled a wild one, with three no-balls, and was carted around by Kusal Mendis for a four and six, conceding 19 runs in the over.
Mendis top-edged Pandya for a six over deep third-man, and treated himself to a four straight down the ground off a no-ball by Shivam Mavi, who was brought in as Arshdeep was struggling with his run-up. Sri Lanka were 55/0 at the end of the Power-play,
Mendis continued in the same vein. He first drove Mavi for a four past mid-on and then slog-swept Axar Patel for a maximum over deep mid-wicket. Another six off Umran Mailk brought him his half-century off just 27 deliveries.
But India pulled back things a bit and Yuzvendra Chahal gave them the much-needed breakthrough when he caught Mendis (52, 31b, 3×4, 4×6) LBW with a slider that cramped the batter for space. The field umpire was unmoved but the DRS ruled in favour of the bowler.
Umran Malik castled Bhanuka Rajapaksa (2) with a 147-kph thunderbolt and when debutant Rahul Tripathi brilliantly caught Nissanka near the boundary rope off Axar Patel, Sri Lanka were 96/3 in the 12th over.
Charith Asalanka blasted back-to-back sixes off Chahal over deep-midwicket as Chahal continued to struggle and dropped short. He hammered Umran Malik to a six in the same area but the young J&K tearaway had the last laugh as he got Asalanka (37 off 19 balls) caught by Shubman Gill at deep midwicket boundary as the batter backed away attempting to smack him over the rope.
Malik was on fire and uprooted the stumps with a 140kph delivery to send Wanindu Hasaranga back for wickets off successive balls.
Dasun Shanaka, who was caught by Suryakuamr Yadav off an Arshdeep no-ball, then hammered a few big ones to help Sri Lanka to a defendable total. He struck two fours and 6 sixes in all to lead his team from the front.
Sri Lanka: 206/6 in 20 overs (Kusal Mendis 52, Dasun Shanaka 56 not out, Charith Asalanka 37, Pathum Nissanka 33; Umran Malik 3-48, Axar Patel 2-24) v India.
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S