T20: Kishan, bowlers fire India to big win
Ishan Kishan (89) & Shreyas Iyer (57*) led India to 199/2 before their bowlers delivered an awesome show to keep Sri Lanka at bay
LUCKNOW: Ishan Kishan (89) and Shreyas Iyer (57*) led India to a mammoth total of 199/2 before their bowlers delivered an awesome show to keep Sri Lanka at bay as the hosts won the opening T20I in Lucknow by 62 runs to take a 1-0 series lead.
The visitors won the toss and chose to bowl first. Their bowlers, however, were unable to produce a disciplined start, as Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan were aggressive from the start. They took full advantage of the field restrictions, roaring out to a 58/0 in the Powerplay.
Kishan smashed a fifty, signalling his opportune return to form after struggling in the home series against the West Indies. However, he lost his opening partner and skipper Rohit Sharma, who was bowled for 44 by Lahiru Kumara's slower delivery. India had raced to 111/1 in 11.5 overs, which was still a terrific start.
Shreyas Iyer joined Kishan at the crease, and after a few tight overs from Sri Lanka, the hosts began to accelerate the pace of the innings once more. Kishan was smashing the Lankan bowlers with ease, playing some dazzling strokes. Meanwhile, Iyer was masterfully rotating the strike, while the Sri Lankan bowlers were at a loss for how to stop the run flow.
Kishan appeared to be on his way to his maiden T20I century, but he went for one too many big shots, falling on the final ball of the 17th over to the medium pace of Dasun Shanaka. But the damage had been done, as his 56-ball 89 had laid the groundwork for a massive score.
Iyer then accelerated his pace, penetrating the field with unerring accuracy. He reached his half-century in the penultimate over, with Ravindra Jadeja facing only four deliveries. India would finish with a total of 199/2, giving the visitors a mountain to climb throughout their chase. Their three frontline pacers — Chameera, Karunaratne, and Kumara – all went for over 10 runs per over, demonstrating the Indian hitters' domination.
In response, Sri Lanka got off to the worst possible start, as Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck with his first ball. A back of the length delivery skidded onto Pathum Nissanka's bat, and he played it on to walk back for a duck.
In his second over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck again when Kamil Mishara couldn't clear the fielder and Rohit Sharma proved to be a safe set of hands. This more than made up for the disappointment of Venkatesh Iyer dropping a straightforward catch earlier in the over.
Janith Liyanage's battle at the crease would also come to an end shortly, as he went after scoring a 17-ball 11 against Venkatesh Iyer's bowling, going for a pull but only finding Sanju Samson at point.
Sri Lanka's woes continued when Dinesh Chandimal was stumped for 10 off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja, who got one to turn away sharply.
Dasun Shanaka attempted a bold reverse-sweep against Yuzvendra Chahal and paid the price with Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking a simple catch. The guests had now lost half their side, and Charith Asalanka was fighting a hopeless battle from the other end.
He reached his half-century, but Sri Lanka fell short of the mark. Despite some big hits from Chamika Karunaratne and Dushmantha Chameera, the visitors could only muster 137/6 in response, falling short by 62 runs.
India now leads the series 1-0 and has a 10-match winning streak in the shortest format, with the second T20I scheduled for Saturday in Dharamsala.
Edited - SportsAction / Inputs - Agency