India v Sri Lanka 1st T20I – 5 Talking Points
Updated - Feb 9, 2016 6:13 pm
Sri Lanka picked up a five-wicket win over India in the first T20I played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association in Pune. Having won the toss, Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal invited MS Dhoni’s men to bat first. Debutant Kasun Rajitha ripped through the Indian batting lineup, picking up 3 wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin’s 31, however, gave the Indians some respite as they reached a total of 101. In spite of chasing a low total, the Lankans got off to a bad start with Ashish Nehra dismissing both openers. Skipper Dinesh Chandimal however, took the attack to the opposition along with Chamara Kapugedera. The end result was a 5-wicket win for the visitors. Here are the 5 talking points of the India v Sri Lanka 1st T20I.
1. Green wicket:
Hosting its first T20I, the MCA wicket in Pune was surprisingly green. Veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle also exclaimed that such wickets are predominantly not found in India. The lush green batting track prompted Sri Lankan skipper to field first upon winning the toss. Thus, it can be agreed that the visitors had a huge advantage in the game right at the toss.
2. Sri Lankan debutants revel in seaming conditions:
In the absence of most of their premier players, the Sri Lankans were forced to hand debuts to a couple of players. Niroshan Dickwella and Kasun Rajitha were drafted into the side as a result. While Dickwella impressed one and all with his impressive glove-work, Rajitha was severe on the Indian batsmen. With the wicket assisting the seamers with fantastic carry and swing, Rajitha exploited the conditions to full extent as he picked up three wickets. Dasun Shanaka too showcased his bowling prowess as he too picked up 3 wickets. Rajitha dismissed Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane in his first over. Shikhar Dhawan fell soon after, becoming his second scalp.
3. Ashwin leads Indian fightback:
Ravichandran Ashwin probably would have thought that his services with the bat wouldn’t be required. However, the immaculate bowling from Rajitha and Shanaka meant that Ashwin would have to bat out of his skin should the Indians reach a respectable total. He partnered Ravindra Jadeja, Ashish Nehra and finally Jasprit Bumrah before the Indians were bowled out for a paltry 101. Ashwin remained unbeaten on 31 at the close of the Indian innings.
4. Chandimal and Kapugedera threaten to take the game away:
The Sri Lankan innings got off to a poor start when Nehra successfully dismissed openers Dickwella and Gunathilaka cheaply. However, Dinesh Chandimal and Chamara Kapugedera began to chase down the target with clear intent, forcing Dhoni to turn to his spinners. The duo however, continued playing with freedom and patience till Kapugedera was dismissed by Raina. Chandimal fell soon after for 35, giving the Indians a much-needed ray of hope.
5. Milinda Siriwardana holds nerve to pick up win:
Playing in only his 7th T20I, 30-year-old Milinda Siriwardana showcased his calmness in a nerve-wracking situation. He smashed Jasprit Bumrah for a massive six over deep mid-wicket before hitting a boundary to secure victory for his side.