IND vs SL – 3rd T20: Unadkat, Pandey shine as India complete 3-0 sweep

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December 24, 2017

Brief Scorecard: India 139 for 5 (Pandey 32, Chameera 2-22, Shanaka 2-27) beat Sri Lanka 135 for 7 (Gunaratne 36, Unadkat 2-15, Pandya 2-25) by five wickets

India completed their home season with another clean sweep, India v Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I, Mumbai, December 24, 2017 – BCCI

December 24, 2017

Brief Scorecard: India 139 for 5 (Pandey 32, Chameera 2-22, Shanaka 2-27) beat Sri Lanka 135 for 7 (Gunaratne 36, Unadkat 2-15, Pandya 2-25) by five wickets

India completed their home season with another clean sweep, India v Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I, Mumbai, December 24, 2017 – BCCI

MUMBAI – Manish Pandey overcame early struggles against the moving ball to add 42 in 6.2 overs to put India back on track. But Iyer's dismissal triggered by Akila Dananajya's fingertips that intercepted a flat-batted Pandey strike before hitting the stumps at the non-striker's end gave Sri Lanka some headway.

The wicket may have not come about had Thisara Perera not thrown himself to his left to stop a single at cover off the previous delivery. Clearly, Sri Lanka were in the game, waiting to sniff every opportunity. When they Iyer, India needed 55 off 40. This was precisely the moment Pandey, largely subdued until then, decided to cut loose, hitting three boundaries off his next four deliveries to transfer momentum. India were back in it, but Sri Lanka weren't giving up.

Hardik Pandya feathered an attempted ramp to the wicketkeeper as India lost their fifth, but the alarm bells were still some distance away as India needed just 37 off the last five. Dhoni was still to come but it was Karthik who was sent ahead. When Pandey was bowled by one that jagged back in to beat the inside edge – brought about largely because of his style of playing besides the line – the game was Sri Lanka's to lose.

Dhoni walked out with India needing 27 off 23. Up against Chameera with no slip in place, Dhoni managed to find a thick edge that beat the edge. In the same over, there was more drama in store as the crowd waited anxiously as Sri Lanka reviewed an lbw decision, only to roar in unison as the giant screen showed the ball missing the stumps. Dhoni would eventually hit the winning runs, much to the joy of the crowd, even as Sri Lanka were made to rue another batting meltdown.

The architects who masterminded Sri Lanka's downfall after they were put in to bat were Washington Sundar and Jaydev Unadkat – two bowlers who were at the forefront of Rising Pune Supergiant's magnificent run to the IPL final earlier this year.

Washington, India's youngest T20I debutant, bowled three overs of no-frills offspin upfront, often varying his pace between fast and faster, length between good length and full, against the left-handers, and strangulated the batsmen. He finished with creditable figures of 4-0-22-1. Unadkat, IPL 2017's second-highest wicket-taker who had an economy of just 7.02, cramped the left-handers early on and was rewarded for his accuracy. Between them, the pair prised out Sri Lanka's top three, inside four overs to set off a procession. It needed Asela Gunaratne's industrious 37-ball 36 and Dashun Shanaka's cameo 29 to haul them 135 from a precarious 85 for 6.

Up early in India's chase, there was some early jitters. KL Rahul was the first to fall, given out lbw while trying to heave Dushmantha Chameera's indipper. Rohit too was shaky to begin with, being saved by the bounce in the first over when he played down the wrong line a Dananjaya googly that sneaked through bat and pad. Two balls later, he was deceived in flight as he nearly chipped a return catch.

Off his next over, Rohit broke the stranglehold by disturbing Dananjaya's length – first slog sweeping him to midwicket and then stepping out to hit him straight down the ground for six. But unlike in the previous two games, Sri Lanka managed to sustain pressure as Shanaka kept nibbling them in the off-stump channel, getting the ball to jag both ways. A miscued pull that skid on much faster than Rohit expected resulted in a simple catch to deep square to expose India's middle order that hasn't had much batting time in the series earlier than expected.

Fortunately for them, Pandey's cameo helped steer them towards the target before Sri Lanka's nerves and dew helped complete a memorable home season.


Courtesy/Source: ESPNCricinfo

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