Meanwhile, Sri Lanka were derailed from their tracks by an inspired Bangladeshi side who chased down a mammoth total of 214 runs, evidently still hurt from defeat to India. It’s only a matter of time before one of the other big guns fire, and what better time to do that than against Sri Lanka?
However, Pandey along with Karthik stitched an unbeaten 68-run partnership to help India climb to the top of the table.
It has always been a Sri Lankan T20 strategy to move the ball away from top-order batsmen, and not only did Bangladesh take notice of it, but they came up with a sound counter-measure.
While Raina fell while trying to up the ante, Rahul was out in a rather unusual fashion (hit-wicket) to leave India in trouble.
By the time he was dismissed, India were left needing around seven an over off the last nine, and Pandey and Karthik had little difficulty in securing that.
India would make heavy weather of the chase with spinner Akila Dananjaya getting Sri Lanka back into the game by removing both India openers in the space of three balls leaving the tourists 22 for 2 after three overs and one ball.
The match was delayed by 15 minutes due to rain that had started pouring over Colombo since afternoon. Thisara Perera, leading the side in the absence of Dinesh Chandimal, tonked the first two balls he faced for sixes but was caught off Thakur soon after while trying to repeat the act. Danushka Gunathilaka started off nicely but failed to last long.
After 7 overs: India lost another wicket of Suresh Raina, scored 63 runs. The young and inexperienced Indian bowlers have done a decent job so far with the likes of Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Vijay Shankar managing good performances. Jaydev Unadkat once again went expensive and gave 33 runs in 3 overs for a wicket.
Sri Lanka was powered by half-centuries by Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera, who added 85 runs for the second wicket off 53 deliveries.
File image of India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma and Sri Lanka’s stand-in skipper Thisara Perera.
Thakur then dimissed Dasun Shanaka (19) and Dushmantha Chameera in consecutive balls in the 19th over to stand in with a chance to claim a hat-trick which didn’t come.