Sri Lanka seamers topple India on green track

Sri Lanka 105 for 5 (Chandimal 35, Nehra 2-21) beat India 101 (Ashwin 31, Rajitha 3-29, Shanaka 3-16) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kasun Rajitha had an impressive T20I debut, striking twice in his first over. © BCCI

Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera and Dasun Shanaka – Sri Lanka’s lanky seam-bowling labour force – came upon a thoroughly surprising green Pune deck, and wound up delivering their team a surprisingly thorough victory. The three quicks took eight wickets for 59 between them, to blow India away for 101. Sri Lanka’s inexperienced batsmen were rarely at ease in pursuit, but did well enough to get to the target with five wickets in hand and two overs to spare.

Chameera had provided glimpses at his penetrative potential during the recent tour of New Zealand, but Rajitha and Shanaka had gone unheralded until today. If Binura Fernando – the left-arm quick – had not injured a hamstring ahead of this match, Rajitha might not even have debuted. Instead, he claimed two wickets in a tone-setting first over and finished with 3 for 29. Shanaka is in the team largely for his batting, but bowled magic deliveries through the middle overs, uprooting Suresh Raina’s leg stump with an in-dipper, and bouncing MS Dhoni second ball. He took 3 for 16.

Fresh from Australian run-gluts, India’s route to defeat was paved with over-ambition. Even after the pitch had proved itself spicy, big shots continued to be attempted. Edges kept being collected. Wickets continued to tumble. The biggest stand of their innings was between R Ashwin and Ashish Nehra, who put on 28 for the eighth wicket. Without Ashwin’s 31 not out, their total might have been closer to 80.

Sri Lanka’s innings appeared to be heading in the same direction at 23 for 2 in the fifth over, but Dinesh Chandimal and Chamara Kapugedera combined for 39 tension-relieving runs. Three late wickets fell, but the target was so small, even this scratchy batting performance was more than good enough.

Full report to follow

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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