Wed, Mar 14, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Thakur and Pandey star as India defeat Sri Lanka


India’s Suresh Raina, right, plays a shot against Sri Lanka as wicketkeeper Kusal Perera looks on in the fourth tri-series Twenty20 international at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Monday.

Photo: AFP

Paceman Shardul Thakur on Monday picked up four key wickets to set up a comfortable six-wicket win for India in their tri-series Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka.

The 26-year-old, playing his fifth Twenty20 international, impressed with his pace and guile to help India dismiss the hosts for 152-9.

In reply, India coasted to the target with nine balls to spare, thanks to a fine 42 off 31 balls by Manish Pandey and a 39-run knock by Dinesh Karthik.

“It was a great effort by the bowling unit considering the conditions were not easy for the bowlers,” India skipper Rohit Sharma said.

“There was some dew, [but] they came out and delivered the goods... Also, the way they [Pandey and Karthik] finished the game, it was crucial,” Sharma said.

India appeared in trouble at 85-4, but Pandey and Karthik batted sensibly, adding 68 runs for the unbroken fifth-wicket stand.

“They [Sri Lanka’s bowlers] started well, but we had discussed that batting at No. 5 I should be there till the end to finish off games,” Pandey said.

The match was reduced to 19 overs a side after the start was delayed by about an hour due to rain and a wet outfield.

Earlier, Kusal Mendis hit a quickfire half-century to ensure Sri Lanka put a competitive total on the board.

The opener hit three fours and as many sixes in his 38-ball knock at the R. Premadasa Stadium.

However, Mendis got little support from the other batsmen as the hosts kept losing wickets at regular intervals.

Thakur, who was named man of the match, bagged four wickets for 27 runs off his four overs.

Upcoming off-spinner Washington Sundar took two wickets as the India bowlers fought back after a sloppy first 10 overs.

India made one change to the side that won against Bangladesh on Thursday last week, bringing in batsman K.L. Rahul in place of Rishabh Pant.

Sri Lanka picked Suranga Lakmal in place of captain Dinesh Chandimal, who has been suspended for two games due to an over-rate offense.

The win propelled India into contention for a place in the final of the tournament.

The next match is between India and Bangladesh today with the final scheduled for Sunday.

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