Dhananjaya de Silva, Sri Lanka all-rounder exhibited the fact that clinching low-scoring T20Is is mainly about showing calm and composure rather than expressing bravado during his team’s successful 133-run chase against India at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday at a rescheduled T20I in the wake of India’s Krunal Pandya testing Covid-19 positive.
Expressing his delight in helping Sri Lanka register a rare win, the 29-year-old admitted how tough it is facing India as opponents.
Dhananjaya de Silva Happy To Contribute In Sri Lanka’s Win
Sri Lanka was in a spot of bother at 55 for three in the 10th over when the technically sound Dhananjaya de Silva walked out to bat. Negotiating a difficult phase of spin bowling, he batted through the innings to help the hosts level the series 1-1 against a crisis-torn India.
After bagging the Player-of-the-Match award for his 34-ball unbeaten 40, Dhananjaya de Silva said that he was happy to contribute to Sri Lanka’s winning cause.
“We were looking forward to this win. I am happy to contribute to a win for Sri Lanka. I always thought and knew it was about one big over. I decided to bat till the end. We held our nerves today. It is always tough against India,” said Dhananjaya de Silva.
Starting with their Australian tour in October 2019, Sri Lanka has played 16 T20Is, and the win over India is only their second in this 21-month timeframe. The last time they won a T20I was against the West Indies in March 2021.
Dhananjaya de Silva was the star in Sri Lanka’s win and was also the Player of the Match for his 40 not out off 34 balls. The hosts took the game to the last over to chase down a target of 133 runs. This was a game dominated by spinners from both sides.
Sri Lanka’s Akila Dhananjaya and Wanindu Hasaranga didn’t let the Indian batters get a big score and later Indian spinners dominated most parts of Sri Lanka’s chase. For India, Kuldeep Yadav was the top wicket-taker with two wickets while the rest got one wicket apiece. Varun Chakravarthy was the most economical bowler in the entire match as he gave just 18 runs in his 4 overs and took one wicket.
Sri Lanka On The Brink Of Sealing Their First Ever Bilateral T20I Series Win Against India As India Are Depleted In The 3rd T20I For Covid-19
With India’s leading players, mostly Test specialists in England for the Test series, Shikhar Dhawan was entrusted with the responsibility of leading a young side for the Sri Lanka series and did well by clinching the ODIs 2-1. The team has now received a significant setback after Krunal Pandya tested positive and eight other players who were in close contact with the all-rounder having been forcefully ruled out of the series.
With India struggling with balance as they have only four specialist batsmen available, Sri Lanka is on the brink of sealing their first-ever bilateral T20I series win over India. The sides have played seven T20I series, with India winning six and one ending in a draw. The third and final T20I, which will also be the decider T20I, will be played on Thursday, 29th July.
India, who anyway brought a replacement team to Sri Lanka, was further severely hamstrung by nine of their players having to go into isolation. They had Bhuvneshwar Kumar – a bowler who bats a bit – as high as No. 6 because they had only five recognized batters available to them.
Sri Lanka 133 for 6 (de Silva 40*, Bhanuka 36, Yadav 2-30) beat India 132 for 5 (Dhawan 40, Padikkal 29, Dananjaya 2-29) by four wickets