Embattled Sri Lanka finally have something to cheer as Leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga did the start turn as Sri Lanka beat covid hit India by seven wickets in the third and final T20 International to clinch the series 2-1, in Colombo.
Electing to bat first, India, playing with at least two batsmen short, were restricted to 81 for 8, their third lowest total, as Hasaranga scalped four wickets for nine runs in four overs.
The bowler then batted doggedly with Dhananjaya de Silva after Sri Lanka were reduced to 56 for 3 in the 12th over, scoring an unbeaten 14 off 9 balls, to help the side through in 14.3 overs. De Silva was unbeaten on 23 off 20 balls, which included two fours.
Leg spinner Rahul Chahar accounted for all the Sri Lanka wickets, for figures of 3 for 15 in four overs.
Chahar dismissed both the openers — Avishka Fernando (12) and Minod Bhanuka (18) — and Sadeera Samarawickrama (6), but the meagre total did not give India a chance to script a comeback. This is Sri Lanka’s first T20 series victory over India. They were beaten in the preceding ODI series 1-2.
Meanwhile, India captain Shikhar Dhawan on Thursday indicated that there was an option of not playing the T20 International series after losing nine players to COVID-19 related isolation but they chose the difficult route of playing with only five specialist batsmen.
“It was a difficult situation for us but as a team, we decided we will stay and play the series,” Dhawan said after the match in Colombo.
Asked about what he learnt as leader of the side, Dhawan said: “Lots of learnings for me as captain. Last game was a close one. Today it was an off day for the batting unit but the boys will learn from it. We lost too many wickets today and the Sri Lanka bowlers bowled well.”
He said losing early wickets was a big blow for Indians, who were playing with one batsman short.
“When you lose early wickets and you don’t have a long batting, you are under pressure. Both teams played in great spirit and it’s a beautiful feeling. The Sri Lanka captain and players wanted to know about my process, so I told them and I hope they enjoyed listening to it.”