Shardul takes four as India crush Sri Lanka

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 13, 2018 00:19 hrs

Manish Pandey hit an unbeaten 42 (31b, 2*4, 1*6) and Dinesh Karthik with an unbeaten (39, 25b, 5*4) helped India script a comprehensive win against Sri Lanka in the fourth T20I.

Chasing 153 runs to win, India were slightly in a spot of bother. However, Pandey along with Karthik stitched an unbeaten 68-run partnership to help India climb to the top of the table.

India rode on Shardul Thakur's four wickets to restrict Sri Lanka to 152/9. In reply, India lost both Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma cheaply as Sri Lanka staged a fightback.

Suresh Raina and KL Rahul then led the recovery act with both batsmen attacking the Sri Lankan bowlers.

While Raina fell while trying to up the ante, Rahul was out in a rather unusual fashion (hit-wicket) to leave India in trouble.

However, Pandey and Karthik with a match-winning partnership ensured the visitors get close to the qualification.

Earlier, the Indian bowlers led by Thakur (4/27) restricted Sri Lanka to 152/9 in 19 overs per side match after rain delayed start.

Put in to bat, Sri Lanka lost their wickets at regular intervals in a match which was curtailed to 19 overs due to rain.

Apart from opener Kusal Mendis (55) no other batsmen contributed handsomely.

The hosts started on a steady note but when scoreboard was reading 25 runs in three overs, opener Danushka Gunathilaka (17) was dismissed by pacer Shardul Thakur.

Incoming batsmen Kusal Perera (3) also failed this time and was sent packing cheaply by leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the very next over.

With scoreboard reading 34/2, Mendis and new batsman Upul Tharanga (22) joined hands and forged a 58-run partnership to stabilise the innings.

Just when things seemed good in the middle, Tharanga was sent back by pacer Vijay Shankar in the 11th over, making the score read 96/3.

Skipper Thisara Perera (15) also failed to rise to the occasion and gifted away his wicket to Thakur when needed the most.

Lower middle-order batsmen Jeevan Mendis (5), Dasun Shanaka (19), Akila Dananjaya (5) tried to score quickly towards the end but could not provide the finish Sri Lanka wanted.

For India, Thakur scalped four wickets while Washington Sundar took two wickets.

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