India lost the second T20 against Sri Lanka by 16 runs.
Surprisingly, Pandya won the toss and chose to chase. Because here mostly teams defended the score. It was also funny that the person who blamed the snow didn’t know the district’s winning record.
The difference between bravery and reckless bravery is the thread. Some of Pandya’s decisions like these oscillate between these two contradictions. Moreover, a question arose that the coach and captain of a team had not discussed the matter and made plans for it.
Sri Lanka, who had struggled and lost in the previous match, came back with a bang in this match. Despite facing the spinners, Umran Malik’s speed and some stumbling in the middle, Sri Lanka’s run-rate did not decline at all.
Cricket is no stranger to the miracle of a 180-degree turnaround in the space of two days, and this match is no exception.
Sri Lanka, who had scored only 35 runs in the powerplay in the previous match, decided to rectify that early in the match and set the game on fire. 47 runs in just 4 overs.
The pressure created by Pandya’s first over bowled Arshdeep with a hat-trick of no balls in the second over.
Although Nishanka’s game was stuttering, Mendis played brilliantly and crossed the half-century mark. A few of his shots were out of control, a few took an edge or mishit for boundaries. However, their aim was clearly to add runs and they succeeded in doing so.
Pandya tried to control the run rate with the spinners. Aksar – Sahal’s spells have given way. They were the ones who dismissed the openers as well.
The decision to drop Rajapaksa early also did not help Sri Lanka. Till the 13th over, they had almost doubled their strike rate of 184 against the fast bowlers with a strike rate of 89 against the spinners. However, Asalanga ensured that the run-rate rose slightly after this. Umran’s high pace tried to save India a bit there. Umran took the wickets of Asalanga and Hazaranga in successive balls. But that’s where the turning point of the game began.
Shanaka, who was promising 45, 33*, 74*, 47* in his last four T20Is, played a brilliant captain’s innings in the match. India’s inexperienced fast bowlers, Umran Malik, Arshdeep and Shivam Mavi, all bowled the ball.
Arshdeep bowled a low full toss to long on and was caught by Surya at long on.
No one could control Shanaka who was in full form. His scoop shot off Arshdeep’s ball was so brilliant. Shanaka, who reached his fifty in 20 balls, also set a record as the fastest Sri Lankan player to score a fifty in T20Is.
Sri Lanka easily reached 206 runs as Shanaka played the mileage of the Sri Lankan innings in the final overs, which was started by Mendes. This includes 10 fours and 14 sixes which is evidence of the Sri Lankan batsmen smashing the Indian bowlers.
That initially paralyzed the Indian batsmen mentally as they struggled to reach 207 runs. This was one of the reasons why he lost four wickets in the first five overs. Sri Lankan spinners showed spin in the last match. Instead, the fast bowlers in the match proved that the powerplay was their platform rather than waiting for the spinners.
India had to stumble to 35/4 as the top-order batsmen got out without much of a struggle. The reason was that India had not really planned how to structure their innings during the interval. From Gill’s errant shot to Pandya’s dismissal, everything was a reflection of that. At one stage, Sri Lanka also threatened in bowling to the extent that India would attack for at least 10 overs and reach at least 100 runs.
Even if the tent is half empty within ten overs, fans’ faith usually does not dry up as long as Suryakumar is around. So an unexpected minefield started to explode from the opposite end as the fans waited to see some colorful shots from him. Axar Patel has always had a strange relationship with surprises. He has been the savior of the team many times. The same thing happened in this match.
In the last over of the last match, the same Aksar, who withstood the heat of the environment and added victory to India’s side, was involved in such quick action in this match as well. Hazaranga’s hat-trick sixes are of a different kind. Every big shot from him rocked the entire stadium. A 20-ball half-century seemed to be the answer to Shanaka’s innings. Suriya, who played somewhat patiently with subsequent wickets, started showing his true colors little by little. After scoring just 29 off the first 26 balls, he scored 22 off the next 10 balls before being dismissed.
In the 12th over, Sri Lanka missed the chance to break the partnership by getting Surya run out. After scoring only 64 runs in the first 10 overs, India surprised Sri Lanka by scoring 75 runs in the next 5 overs. It was Madhushanka Surya’s wicket that gave Sri Lanka some breathing room. But Axar did not relent even then. Shivam Mavi also continued to dance to the same rhythm to support. Shivam, who came out of syllabus, also gave a surprise. In fact, this was his first international to bat. However, the sixes and fours he hit made a mark without knowing it. Whoever proved himself in bowling in the last match has proved himself in this match or batting. In fact, the defeat could have been avoided if the top-order batsmen had played any part in their efforts.
With 5 wickets down, Aksar approached each over with no doubt that he could reach 200 runs and the struggle was in vain. It was the attitude of fighting till the end that was amazing.
With 21 needed in the final over and only one over left for Hazaranga, it was a smart move for Shanaka to bowl himself without taking any risks. That is the reason for taking two wickets and defending it.
India’s 16-run loss was partly due to the top-order’s sloppiness, but the runs to spare and Arshdeep’s no-balls were the main reasons.
Had he not bowled just 2 overs for 37 runs, victory would have been within India’s reach. The worst is that Hersl’s successor did more damage than Hersl did.
A few bad moves by Pandya spelled defeat while some perfect moves by Shanaka gave Sri Lanka a chance to level the series. The match is proof that Pandya still needs to take decisions with extra care and forethought.