Dasun Shanka-led Sri Lanka levelled the series as they sneaked a win by four wickets in the second T20I in Colombo. Sri Lanka’s batsmen held their nerves as vice-captain Dhananjaya de Silva stayed till the last to secure a much-needed victory. Dasun Shanaka underlined they firstly focused on keeping the visitors to a modest total.
Though India got off to a brilliant start as Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad added 49 for the first wicket, they could not capitalize on it. The COVID-19 outbreak hitting the camp forced the visitors to hand four debutants in the second T20I. The tourists found it hard to get going against Sri Lanka’s spinners, with Shikhar Dhawan top-scoring with 40.
Devdutt Padikkal looked for the long haul before Wanindu Hasaranga cleaned him up for 29 off 23 balls. The likes of Akila Dananjaya and Wanindu Hasaranga snared three wickets between them, but the pacers did equally well to support them. Akila Dananjaya finished with figures of 4-0-29-2 to keep India to 132 in 20 overs on a sticky pitch.
Sri Lanka began their run-chase no better as India’s spin-trio kept the pressure on by controlling the run-flow and chipping away. But Dhananjaya de Silva kept the batting unit together and stitched a breezy 28-run stand with Wanindu Hasaranga. Chamika Karunaratne’s six in the second last over was arguably the turning point as it released the pressure. De Silva finished with an unbeaten 40, eking out the eight runs required off the final over off debutant Chetan Sakariya.
We were not able to capitalise in the first six overs: Dasun Shanaka
Dasun Shanaka revealed they focused on restricting India to a modest total; however, he lamented not capitalizing on the first six overs. The 29-year old heaped praises on Dhananjaya de Silva and Wanindu Hasaranga for rescuing them and thanked both the cricketing boards for giving these players the opportunity.
“I thought if we could contain them to a low total, we could chase it. We were not able to capitalise in the first six overs. But DDS and Wanindu Hasaranga bailed us out. I should thank the BCCI and SLC for this opportunity because this is a huge opportunity for young guys in these times,” Dasun Shanaka told in the post-match presentation.