India pacer Navdeep Saini carried his splendid form from Indore to Pune as he bowled a stunning delivery to remove Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera during the third and final T20I of the series, played at the Maharastra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium, on Friday.
This all happened in the sixth over of the Sri Lankan run-chase. On the very first delivery, Saini bowled a yorker right on the blockhole and Perera had no clue whatsoever as he attempted to play a cover drive but ended up jamming his bat; the southpaw was completely undone by Saini’s scorcher and had no other choice than walking back to the pavilion.
After cleaning up Perera, Saini dismissed Dhananjaya de Silva (57) and Lasith Malinga (0) to finish with the excellent figures of 3/28 in 3.5 overs. It was a stellar combined effort from the Indian bowlers as Sri Lanka were bundled out for a paltry 123 and lost the game by a heavy margin of 78 runs. Apart from Saini, Shardul Thakur also impressed with his all-round performance as he picked up two wickets after scoring a quickfire 8-ball 22 with the bat.
Earlier batting first, KL Rahul (54) and Shikhar Dhawan (52) along with crucial contributions from Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey and Shardul helped India post a mammoth total of 201 runs on the board. With their comprehensive win, India clinched the three-match series 2-0 and will next take on Australia in three-match ODI series starting from January 14.