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India vs Sri Lanka, 2nd T20I: Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja explode as India chase down 184 to win series


FEBRUARY 26, 2022

Brief Scorecard: India 186 for 3 (Shreyas 74*, Jadeja 45*, Kumara 2-31) beat Sri Lanka 183 for 5 (Nissanka 75, Shanaka 47*, Bumrah 1-24) by seven wickets

In a span of two days, Shreyas Iyer has made himself a serious contender in India’s World Cup squad. After his explosive half-century in the series opener against Sri Lanka, the middle-order batter showed exemplary skills with a very impressive, unbeaten 74 to help India successfully chase down 184 with 17 balls to spare, and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber.

This is India’s seventh straight series win at home.

Coming in at the fall of skipper Rohit Sharma (1), who had a rare failure up the order, Shreyas (74* off 44 balls; 4×6, 6×4) took on the onus of leading India’s charge.

Shreyas took a while to get his eyes in, before picking left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama to free his arms with two consecutive sixes, and later got to his half century with a straight six over the head of Chamika Karunaratne.

Shreyas found a perfect partner in another World Cup hopeful Sanju Samson, who overcame a patchy start before dispatching Lahiru Kumara for three sixes and a four to race to a 25-ball 39. Kumara, however, had the last laugh, thanks to the 6-feet-7-inch Binura Fernando’s spectacular catch at first slip to send back Samson after he added 84 runs for the third wicket with Shreyas.

With India needing 56 runs off 48 deliveries, Ravindra Jadeja justified his skipper’s decision to promote him, as the southpaw came up with a fiery 18-ball, unbeaten 45 (7×4, 1×6) and more importantly provided the much-needed impetus to the innings.

Ishan Kishan looked good for his 15-ball 16 before being hit on the helmet by a short delivery from Lahiru Kumara.

Earlier, Pathum Nissanka raged a lone battle with a fighting half-century until skipper Dasun Shanaka came out all guns blazing to help Sri Lanka post a competitive 183 for 5.

Amidst all the uncertainty around the weather gods playing hide and seek in Dharamsala, the match progressed as scheduled with the mercury dipping to a freezing six degrees.

Nissanka anchored the Sri Lankan innings with a valiant 75 off 53 balls, powered by 11 boundaries, and more importantly set the tone with crucial partnerships of 67 for the first wicket with Danushka Gunathilaka, and later added 58 runs for the fifth wicket with Shanaka, who smoked five sixes for his 9-ball 47, to take the team to a healthy total.

Shanaka’s arrival changed the complexion of the game, as the right-hander went after Harshal Patel for two straight sixes to warm himself up before lighting up the stadium filled with 50 per cent crowd, with another couple of consecutive maximums of the same bowler to finish things off in style.

Put in to bat, the new Sri Lankan opening pair of Nissanka and Gunathilaka meant business. Having survived a few close chances from the Indian new ball pair of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, they eventually decided to take their chances against Harshal and the spinners.

India came up with a better fielding performance, holding on regulation chances and even going the extra mile to pluck a few diving chances.

Courtesy/Source: TOI