The second T20I between India and Sri Lanka turned out to be an absolute thriller where the Islanders managed to claim a 16-run win to level the ongoing three-match series.
Chasing the massive target of 207, the hosts had a terrible start as they lost five wickets for just 57 inside at the halfway stage. The likes of Ishan Kishan (2), Shubman Gill (5), debutant Rahul Tripathi (5) and Deepak Hooda (9) all failed to impress and couldn’t even score in double figures.
As the situation was looking completely out of hand, the pair of Suryakumar Yadav and Axar Patel tried to control things by counterattacking. The duo took Lankan bowlers to the cleaners and shifted the momentum towards the Men in Blue. Both Surya and Axar smashed quick fifties and added 91 runs for the sixth wicket. But a mistimed shot from Suryakumar led to his dismissal for 51 off 36 deliveries.
Axar, on the other end, kept founding boundaries to take India close to the victory line. He was well supported by tailender Shivam Mavi as the duo brought down the equation to 21 needed in the final over. Axar, after getting the strike by Mavi, picked up a couple, and in order to hit a biggie, the all-rounder got out. Axar ended up scoring 65 from just 31 deliveries as Sri Lanka managed to record a thrilling win by 16 runs.
Earlier, skipper Dasun Shanaka and opener Kusal Mendis smashed sizzling half-centuries to power Sri Lanka to a massive 206/6 in their allotted 20 overs. Asked to bat, openers Mendis (53) and Pathum Nissanka (33) formed an 80-run stand to give the tourists a solid start.
The visitors then lost momentum as Indian bowlers, led by pace sensation Umran Malik (3/48), bagged a flurry of wickets to decrease the run flow. However, Lankan captain Shanaka (56 not out) and all-rounder Charith Asalanka (37) smashed consecutive boundaries to take their side over the 200-run mark.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
The match went down to the wire but it is Sri Lanka who won the second T20I by 16 runs.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 5, 2023
We level the series!
🇱🇰 1 – 1 🇮🇳
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) January 5, 2023
— Dimuth Karunarathna (@IamDimuth) January 5, 2023
This is the first loss for India against Sri Lanka in T20I in India since 2016.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 5, 2023
— Robin Aiyuda Uthappa (@robbieuthappa) January 5, 2023
— Rahul Rawat (@rawatrahul9) January 5, 2023
Skipper really said “I’ll do it by myself” today.
Excellent show of skill from both bat and ball today @dasunshanaka1 👏🏽 👏🏽 👏🏽
— Dasuni Athauda (@AthaudaDasuni) January 5, 2023
Axar Patel won't mind two more elections in Gujarat inside 12 months.
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) January 5, 2023
Most runs added by India after losing 5th wicket in a T20I innings:
133 – v SL at Pune, today
101 – v NZ at Christchurch, 2009
98 – v AUS at Bridgetown, 2010
92 – v SA at Indore, 2022#INDvSL
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) January 5, 2023
Two closely-contested games. Once more, the team batting first wins at Pune. Dasun Shanaka’s love for India is of another level…takes his game few notches higher vs India. #IndvSL
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 5, 2023
— CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) January 5, 2023
A great effort from SKY, Axar, & Mavi to keep 🇮🇳 in the game till the final over 👏🏼
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) January 5, 2023
Well played #axarpatel & Srilanka.
— Shubhankar Mishra (@shubhankrmishra) January 5, 2023
🇮🇳 put up a strong fight to pull things back but 🇱🇰 were the better side tonight!
We’ve got a score to settle in the decider now! 👊
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) January 5, 2023
Will take this defeat any day if you are wanting to build the T20 core. Many mistakes tonight, and they should look at eliminating them, but that India came so close to weaving a miracle, gives hope #INDvSL
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) January 5, 2023
1️⃣-1️⃣ it is.
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) January 5, 2023
— ICC (@ICC) January 5, 2023
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) January 5, 2023