IND vs SL 2022-23, 2nd T20I: Axar's heroics in vain as Lanka pulls back to level series; Twitter upset
IND vs SL 2022-23: India fell short to Sri Lanka in the second Pune T20I by 16 runs on Thursday. The visitors have levelled the series 1-1, while Axar Patel's heroics was not enough to save the hosts, leaving Twitter upset.
Team India continued its quest to challenge itself against Sri Lanka in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on Thursday. The former fell short by 16 runs, as the latter have drawn level in the three-match series after the hosts won the opening game by just a couple of runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday. The third and final T20I will be played Saturday at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) Stadium in Rajkot. While Axar Patel tried to provide a hardcore fightback with the bat, it was not enough to get the job done, leaving Twitter upset.
Winning the toss, Indian skipper Hardik Pandya chose to field first, surprisingly, with stats proving that the track has favoured the sides batting first. Meanwhile, the hosts also handed the debut to top-order batter Rahul Tripathi. The visitors began on a solid note, with openers Pathum Nissanka (33) and Kusal Mendis (51) putting on an 80-run stand before the former was trapped leg-before by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the ninth over.
Thereon, partnerships were lacking, as Lanka lost five more wickets in a heap and was 138/6 by the 16th over. However, Lankan skipper Shanaka (56*) and Chamika Karunaratne (11*) batted out until the end of the innings, contributing to a 68-run partnership for the seventh wicket, as the Lions finished on a challenging total of 206/6.
For India, pacer Umran Malik grasped three, while fellow pacer Pandya was the most economical. However, pacer Arshdeep Singh was at the receiving end, bowling just a couple of overs and leaking 37 runs, including 14 runs off no-balls, while he bowled five such deliveries. In reply, the Indians began nervously, losing four by the fifth over of the PowerPlay (PP) with 34 runs on the board, while they were 57/5 by the tenth.
However, Suryakumar Yadav (51) and Axar Patel (65) contributed to a crucial 91-run stand for the sixth wicket, keeping the Men in Blue well in the chase. The partnership was broken in the 16th, with the former falling to pacer Dilshan Madushanka. Yet, the latter continued his onslaught and, along with Shivam Mavi (26), added 41 for the seventh wicket before falling to medium-pacer Shanaka in the final over.
With 21 needed off the final six balls, it was a mountain too tall to scale, as the Lankans held three wickets in the over to restrict India and win the contest by 16 runs. As for the visitors, Madushanka, Kasun Rajitha and Shanka seized a couple of wickets each, while the latter was incredibly economical.
Brief scores: SL 206/6 (Nissanka- 33, Mendis- 52, Asalanka- 37, Shanaka- 56; Malik- 3/48) defeated IND 190/8 (Yadav- 51, Patel- 65; Shanaka- 2/4) by 16 runs.