Low scoring matches often tend to end in a thrilling way and Wednesday’s encounter between Sri Lanka and India was no different. Till the time Indian spinners were into the attack, the game seemed to be out of the hands of Sri Lanka, but they made a strong come back in the last few overs to seal a win against the depleted Men in Blue.
India’s debutants – Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Raj and Chetan Sakariya – failed to impress, more so with the bat. Also, Shikhar Dhawan & Co. seemed more bothered with the sluggish nature of the pitch, although there was some poor shot selection as well.
For Sri Lanka, Dhananjaya de Silva scored 40 not out off 34 balls while wicketkeeper-batsman Minod Bhanuka smashed 36 off 31 deliveries to help the hosts in chasing the 133-run target with four wickets in hand.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl first. Captain Shikhar top-scored for India with a 42-ball 40 as the visitors posted 132 runs on the board for the loss of five wickets. Ruturaj scored 21 off 18 balls while Padikkal made a 23-ball 29.
Brief scores: India 132-5 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 40; Akila Dananjaya 2/29) lost to Sri Lanka 133/6 in 19.4 overs (Dhananjaya de Silva 40 not out; Kuldeep Yadav 2/30) by four wickets.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
Phew… #SLvsIND Series is alive .. well done lads
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) July 28, 2021
Good win for our young team. A dedicated bunch of players and a successful future is certain. Beating India is always good and the series is alive. This is going to be interesting! @OfficialSLC @BCCI #SLvsIND
— Jeevan Mendis (@jeevanmendis) July 28, 2021
Despite the loss, we can still be proud of the fighting spirit Indian team showed today. They almost defended a small target. #SLvsIND
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) July 28, 2021
sri lanka have done what australia couldn't…beat an indian team made up of essentially the only men left standing on the tour #SLvsIND
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) July 28, 2021
— Dimuth Karunarathna (@IamDimuth) July 28, 2021
Absolute relief for Sri Lanka! It was the sheer brilliance of Dananjaya, Hasaranga and that man Chamika Karunaratne that got them over the line. Congratulations to them.
— Roshan Abeysinghe (@RoshanCricket) July 28, 2021
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) July 28, 2021
Sanju Samson has failed to impress in T20Is so far. pic.twitter.com/nf6dWyEDsL
— CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) July 29, 2021
Sri Lanka eke out hard fought win against a weak Indian side. Bowlers did their best, but 132 meagre score to defend even on a sluggish pitch. With only 5 batsmen in the side, India’s hopes rested on top order for runs. Samson, Padikkal, Gaekwad, Rana spurned opportunity
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) July 28, 2021
Almost pulled off a victory with these many players missing. Indian cricket's depth is at an all-time high. #INDvSL
— Saurabh Somani (@saurabh_42) July 28, 2021