India’s most experienced seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar lead the way as they beat Sri Lanka by 38 runs in the first T20I to lead the three-match series. Sri Lanka stayed in the hunt till the 15th over mark; however, the chase of 165 proved too much in the end. Bhuvneshwar Kumar stated that since he played an ODI after two months, he took time to get into the groove.
India handed T20I debuts to Varun Chakravarthy and Prithvi Shaw; however, the latter recorded a golden duck. Sanju Samson struck an attractive 27 before Wanindu Hasaranga struck in his first over to remove him. The biggest stand of the innings came between Shikhar Dhawan and Suryakumar Yadav as they added 62 from 48 balls. Dhawan holed out to deep square leg for 46, but Yadav kept motoring along.
He brought his fifty off 33 balls before leggie Hasaranga struck once again to remove him. The tourists found it hard to get going at the death, managing only 43 runs off the final five overs. Dushmantha Chameera was the pick of the bowlers, ending with figures of 4-0-24-2. Sri Lanka started their chase strongly, hitting boundaries at will. However, the hosts could not take full advantage of India’s sloppiness.
Though Bhuvneshwar Kumar went a tad expensive in his first two overs, the 31-year old returned to dismiss the dangerman, Avishka Fernando. The right-arm seamer took three more in his next two even though Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka hit him for a six. Asalanka’s dismissal for 44 in the 16th over was curtains for Sri Lanka as the rest of the batsmen made only 15 runs from there to be all out on 126. In the end, Kumar’s figures read as 4-0-22-3.
I played an ODI after a couple of months: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who put on a below-par show in the preceding ODI series, stated it takes time to get into the rhythm. As for his performance in the first T20I, he stated there was help for the seamers that made him thrive.
“I played ODI after a couple of months, so you take some time get into the rhythm. It was a good batting wicket but there was some help for bowlers too,” Kumar said in the post-match presentation.