Sri Lanka’s thrilling win, India’s final fate hangs in the balance

Sri Lanka needed 21 runs from 12 balls. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 19th over of the innings made the work of the Lankans quite easy. Dasun Shanaka and Bhanuka Rajapakse took 14 runs from that over with two fours along with two wides. 7 runs from 6 balls when the equation is done. Then Sri Lanka loses this match!
Even in the last over by Arshdeep, there was no less drama. 2 runs needed off 2 balls, Shanaka starts running for runs even though he can’t put the ball on the bat. Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant threw, he could not put it on the stumps, instead of 1 run, 2 bye runs were made. Sri Lanka won the match by 6 wickets with 1 ball to spare.

With this victory, the final of the Asia Cup is almost certain for Sri Lanka. If Pakistan defeats Afghanistan tomorrow, then Sri Lanka-Pakistan will reach the final.

In the chase, Sri Lanka were batting the way they should when chasing a big score, regardless of pressure. Two openers Kushal Mendis-Patum Nishanka scored runs with each other. Neither Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal nor Hardik Pandya cared with the ball in hand. At the end of 11 overs, Sri Lanka’s runs became 97, and the wicket was still empty. Mendis-Nishanka had already broken the record for most runs by an opening pair in T20Is against India. The previous record was 67 runs, this year at Dharamshala.

The match changed color in the 12th over, after Yuzvendra Chahal came in to bowl his third over. Nishanka was caught by Rohit Sharma at backward point on the first ball, his score was 52 off 37 balls. Asalanka also fell victim to Chahal on the fourth ball of that over before scoring any runs. An over later, Danuska Gunatilka also returned to Ravichandran Ashwin, scoring just 1 run.

But Sri Lanka suffered the biggest blow when Kushal Mendis was lbw on the first ball of Chahal’s last over. Mendis, who scored 57 off 37 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes, drew reviews, but did not wait for the third umpire’s decision after watching the replay on the big screen. Sri Lanka’s runs were 110 for 4, needing 64 runs from 35 balls to win. From there Dasun Shanaka and Bhanuka Rajapakse formed the match winning pair.

Earlier, losing the toss and batting, India lost 2 wickets to score 13 runs, but captain Rohit was in Rudramurthy. Having taken advantage of the powerplay, he continued to bat at the same pace even in the middle overs. Rohit got out after playing an innings of 72 runs from 41 balls, 5 fours and 4 sixes, but he continued to set the stage for the rest of the game. However, his teammates who came into batting after him could not take that opportunity very well. Some tried to create a storm, but no one’s innings was big. Otherwise India’s score could have been bigger instead of 173 for 8 at the end of 20 overs.

Lokesh Rahul and Virat Kohli returned quickly to bat. Rahul left the crease to play Mahesh Tikshana down the leg side and was confused by an incredible drift. He was not saved even with a review to save himself from LLBW. And Kohli batted across and was bowled by left-arm pacer Dilshan Madushankar.