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Dominant India bag series with 11th successive T20I win


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India made short work of a target of 184 in Dharamsala, jetting to their 11th consecutive T20I win and taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series against Sri Lanka. Shreyas Iyer sparkled with an innings of 74* off 44 balls while Ravindra Jadeja celebrated his return to No.5 with an 18-ball 45*, taking India home with 2.5 overs to spare. All that took a bit of sheen away from Dasun Shanaka's 19-ball 47* earlier in the evening but Sri Lanka would know that they needed more from their bowlers on the night.

The turning point of the chase

It didn't look easy out there against Sri Lanka's pacers early on. Dushmantha Chameera picked Rohit Sharma's wicket in the first over while at the other end, Lahiru Kumara hit Ishan Kishan on the helmet and soon had his number too. In fact, after Ishan chipped straight to cover, only 12 runs came off the 18 balls. Even Iyer looked all at sea against the pace before he found comfort in Binura Fernando's bowling, picking three consecutive boundaries which in hindsight was the turning point.

How good was Iyer?

Once again, very good. He broke through India's dry spell after Ishan's wicket with a couple of straight sixes against the left-arm spin of Praveen Jayawickrama. He looked like he was batting on a totally different pitch than what Samson seemed to be on, the latter struggling for timing at 17 off 19 balls. That's when Samson also broke free, carting into Lahiru Kumara with a four and three sixes before being caught one-handed at slip by Fernando. Iyer, though, kept at it and took his team over the line, hitting 6 fours and 4 sixes in the process.

The promotion of Jadeja...

Surprised. Especially because Venkatesh Iyer was also in the line-up and needs grooming. But Jadeja didn't waste a delivery at the crease, literally getting off the mark with a boundary off his first ball. He then tore into Chameera in the 16th over, hitting a maximum and three boundaries to really hasten India's chase. With Samson and Jadeja both coming to the party, 70 runs came in four overs from overs 13 to 16 and that was that.

Sri Lanka also started slow

On what clearly looked like a good pitch, Sri Lanka's powerplay tally of 32 surely was screaming for more. The silver lining was that they hadn't lost a wicket but the pressure to break free eventually caught up in the middle overs, when three wickets fell inside three overs. Ravindra Jadeja first got Danushka Gunathilaka caught at long-on, Yuzvendra Chahal then pinned Charith Asalanka lbw before Harshal Patel got Kamil Mishara chipping to cover.

How did they get to 183 then?

Things looked even direr when their senior batter Dinesh Chandimal chipped a slower ball from Jasprit Bumrah to cover. Sri Lanka were 111/4 after 16 overs, and India looked way ahead in the game at that point in time. Chahal had just wrapped up his spell for 1-27 but Harshal Patel, bowling the 17th and the 20th overs conceded 19 and 23, finishing with figures of 1-52. But that's when captain Dasun Shanaka blasted his way to a 19-ball 47 not out. 72 runs came in the last four overs.

Tell us more about Shanaka's innings...

Shanaka hit 2 fours and 5 sixes, hitting the accelerator and taking India a little by surprise. He warmed up with a couple of sixes against Patel before carting into Bhuvneshwar and then Patel again in the final over. It helped that for the large part, Shanaka had opener Pathum Nissanka playing the perfect foil, getting a steady 75 off 53 and getting the crucial boundaries from the other end.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 183/5 in 20 overs (Nissanka 75, Shanaka 47*; Bumrah 1-24)lost to India186/3 in 17.1 overs (Iyer 74*, Jadeja 45*; Kumara 2-31) by 7 wickets.

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