Chamika Karunaratne made his T20I debut for Sri Lanka during the first T20I fixture against India. The pacer was presented with a bat before the match by his idol Hardik Pandya.
Following the conclusion of the match, which saw India take a 1-0 lead courtesy of a 38-run win, Chamika Karunaratne thanked the all-rounder for his gesture on social media.
Chamika Karunaratne, Sri Lankan T20I Debutant Presented With A Bat By Hardik Pandya During Pre Match Warm Up
During the pre-match warm-up Hardik Pandya was seen asking for a bat from the dressing room. The all-rounder received the bat from Ishan Kishan, which he proceeded to hand over to Chamika Karunaratne. The player tested out the new bat with a stance and thanked Hardik Pandya for the same before parting ways with a fist bump.
“Absolutely honoured to have received a bat from my role model Hardik Pandya on my T20 debut,” Karunaratne wrote on Instagram. “You are an amazing human being and I am truly touched by your thoughtful gesture. ” “I’ll never forget this day. May God bless you always,” he added.
Chamika Karunaratne had a solid outing in the ODI series, especially with the bat where he contributed vital runs down the order. He scored 90 runs in the ODI series averaging 90. The promising all-rounder has played one Test, seven ODIs, and a T20 match for Sri Lanka. In the first ODI against India, Chamika Karunaratne top-scored from No. 8, hitting 43 off 35 balls.
The 25-year-old was handed the new ball alongside Dushmanta Chameera in the first T20I after the hosts had won the toss. While Dushmanta Chameera found some swing upfront, Chamika Karunaratne couldn’t get the ball to move around much and was given only a one-over spell in the Powerplay.
He later returned back into the attack and got his maiden wicket by dismissing the settled Shikhar Dhawan. Chamika Karunaratne ended up with figures of 1-34 following a splendid final over that yielded no boundaries.
Hardik Pandya Had A Forgettable Match Scoring 10 Runs And Picking 1 Scalp
Hardik Pandya, on the other hand, had a game to forget. The swashbuckling all-rounder could only muster 10 runs off 12 deliveries with the bat. He also dropped a sitter inside the circle while fielding and was hit for a maximum off his very first delivery while bowling. Hardik Pandya, though, finished with a wicket in the end by removing the struggling Ashen Bandara. He bowled 2 overs and conceded 17 runs.
Sri Lanka has now lost 10 out of their last 11 T20Is and will have to come up with an exceptional performance to topple this spirited India side. The second T20I is scheduled for June 27 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.