India defeat Sri Lanka by 69 runs to level T20I series 1-1

Ranchi: India produced an all-round performance to outclass Sri Lanka by 69 runs in the second T20 International at the Jharkhand International Stadium here on Friday to level the three-match series 1-1. Opener Shikhar Dhawan (51 off 25) scored a quick-fire half century as India posted a challenging total of 196/6 in 20 overs. In reply, the visitors could manage only 127/9 in 20 overs. Ravichandran Ashwin (3-14), Jasprit Bumrah (2-17), Ravindra Jadeja (2-24), Ashish Nehra (2-26) were the pick of the bowlers for India. India earlier lost the first match by five wickets. Chasing a challenging target of 197, the visitors got off to a worst possible start losing experienced Tillakaratne Dilshan (0) in the first over itself off the bowling of Ashwin.  

In the next over, Sri Lanka suffered another blow when Danushka Gunathilaka (2) was caught off an outside edge off the bowling of Ashish Nehra and the side was reduced to 3/2 in 1.1 overs. Next up, some tight bowling by both Indian pacers and spinners saw the visitors lose wickets at regular intervals. Seekkuge Prasanna (1) being out in the fourth over saw the team struggling at 16/3.  

From there on skipper Chamara Kapugedera (32) and Dinesh Chandimal (31) held on to score some quick runs but in the 12th over, Jadeja produced the much needed breakthrough for the hosts to get Kapugedera out to thus put more pressure on Sri Lanka. With wickets falling in clusters it became difficult for the middle and lower order batsmen to pile on the huge runs which were needed and eventually surrendered to the Indians. Earlier on, put into bat, the home side got off to an explosive start with both openers Rohit Sharma (43) and Dhawan taking the initiative to go all out at the Lankan bowlers. With good number of boundaries and sixes, the team scored 70 runs in the powerplay as Dhawan brought up his 50 in just 22 balls.  

But in the final ball of seventh over, Dhawan, looking to help the ball over the wicket-keeper's head off the bowling off Chameera, was cramped for room and the ball got to the glove of Dinesh Chandimal who accepted it gleefully. India were 75/1. Incoming batsman Ajinkya Rahane (25) gave good support to Rohit as the duo scored at a good pace to bring up India's 100 in the 11th over itself. But as Rohit was looking to take on the bowlers, the visitors got the second breakthrough as Chameera clinched a stunning diving catch off his own bowling to reduce India to 122/2 in 13.1 overs. Soon after the dismissal of Rohit, India received double blow when Rahane looking too pull it too early got the top edge and which lobbed straight to Tillakaratne Dilshan at cover point. India were 127/3 in 14.2 overs.

From there on two new batsmen Suresh Raina and Hardik Pandya took on the bowlers striking boundaries and sixes at regular intervals to take India score to a handsome total. In the 19th over, Thisara Perera (3-33) got rid of Pandya, Raina and Yuvraj Singh in three consecutive balls to clinch a hat-trick.