Sri Lanka rode on Dilshan Munaweera’s 29-ball brisk half century to post 170/7 against India in the solitary T20 International at the R. Premadasa Stadium here on Wednesday.
Put in to bat after a rain-delayed start, the hosts lost the opening duo of skipper Upul Tharanga (5) and Niroshan Dickwella (17) within the first five overs to totter at 46/2.
India’s T20 specialists — Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah — gave the visitors a perfect start to remove the opening duo.
Bhuvneshwar got rid of Tharanga with a perfect in-swinger as the ball crashed into his middle stumps before Bumrah, who was bludgeoned for three boundaries in his first over, came back to castle Dickwella in the fifth over of the innings.
Coming in at No.3, Munaweera (53 from 29 balls, 5*4, 4*6) saved the hosts from the blushes with a fighting half century that came off 26 balls before all-rounder Ashan Priyanjan’s unbeaten run-a-ball 40 helped them to a healthy total.
Munaweera and Priyanjan’s 37-run stand for the fourth wicket was the only highlight of the Sri Lankan innings which once again derailed at a crucial juncture, thanks to the Indian spin duo of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav.
Towards the end, all-rounder Isuru Udana slammed an unbeaten 10-ball 19 but more importantly chipped in with a 36-run undefeated eighth wicket stand with Priyanjan to help the Sri Lankans go past the 150-run mark.
Chahal was the wrecker-in-chief picking three for 43, while Kuldeep (2/20) applied the brakes on the hosts’ scoring as India aim to finish off their tour on a winning note.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 170/7 (Dilshan Munaweera 53, Ashan Priyanjan 40 not out, Isuru Udana 19 not out, Yuzvendra Chahal 3/43, Kuldeep Yadav 2/20) vs India.