Tuesday, September 14

Birthday boy Hasaranga stars as Sri Lanka clinch T20 series 2-1

Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga took four wickets on his 24th birthday to help Sri Lanka thrash India by seven wickets on Thursday and claim the three-match Twenty20 series 2-1.

Hasaranga returned career-best T20 figures of 4-9 with his leg-spin as India finished on a paltry 81-8, a total Sri Lanka overhauled in 14.3 overs in Colombo.

Dhananjaya de Silva, unbeaten on 23, and Hasaranga, 14 not out, steered the team home after Indian leg-spinner Rahul Chahar sent back Sri Lanka’s top three including wicketkeeper-batsman Minod Bhanuka for 18.

“You can see all the players performed and handled different situations. I am lucky to lead this team,” Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka said after the win.

Hasaranga was the star of the day after his twin strikes, including Sanju Samson for nought in the fifth over of India’s innings, put Sri Lanka in charge.

Skipper Shikhar Dhawan was out for nought in the first over off pace bowler Dushmantha Chameera after India elected to bat first.

Number seven Kuldeep Yadav made an unbeaten 23 to take India past their lowest ever T20 score of 74 against Australia in 2008.

The total was India’s lowest against the island nation after they were bowled out for 101 in 2016.

“Wicket was slow, our spinners bowled really well,” said man of the match and series Hasaranga, who took seven wickets in three matches.

“When I bowl, I always try to bowl dot balls, that’s why I pick up wickets.”

Shanaka took two wickets including a sharp caught and bowled to send back Nitish Rana for six.

Sri Lanka on Wednesday bounced back from an opening loss to win the second match, delayed by one day after India’s Krunal Pandya tested positive for coronavirus putting him in isolation along with eight close contacts.

“It was a difficult situation for us but as a team, we decided we will stay and play the series,” said Dhawan, who was appointed captain for the tour after Virat Kohli’s Test side travelled to England.

“Lots of learnings for me as captain,” he added.

India won the three-match 50-overs series 2-1 after its start was pushed back by five days due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Sri Lankan camp.

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