India will be looking to continue their winning start to the year 2020 when they take on Sri Lanka in the third and final T20I on Friday (January 10). After the series-opener in Guwahati was abandoned without a ball being bowled, India thrashed the visitors by seven wickets in the second game in Indore to take an unassailable lead in the three-match series.
It was a clinical performance from Team India as they remained on top of the proceedings for most part of the game. Virat Kohli once again won the toss and elected to bowl first. The bowlers totally justified the decision by restricting Sri Lanka to a below par total of 142 for 9 in the allotted 20 overs on a good batting surface. The likes of Shardul Thakur (3 for 23) and Navdeep Saini (2 for 18) were the pick of the bowlers. For Sri Lanka, Kusal Perera was the top run-scorer with 34.
In reply, India chased down the total inside 18 overs and with seven wickets in hand. In-form KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan laid the foundation for the easy chase by adding 71 runs for the first wicket before the former departed for 45. Dhawan departed soon too after scoring 32 before Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer added 51 runs to help India win the game.
The action now shifts to Pune for the third and final T20I and one can expect a run-fest. An official from Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) has insisted that the association will prepare a sporting pitch for the upcoming game.
“We will be providing a fantastic wicket and it will definitely have something not just for the batsmen but to the bowlers as well. We still have two more days before the match starts,” the MCA official was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.
This will be the second game between India and Sri Lanka in Pune. They had first played at the venue in 2016 and Sri Lanka had made light work of the hosts. The islanders had bowled out India for just 101 and had gone on to win the game by five wickets. But unlike the last time, one can expect a better contest this time around as the association has pledged to prepare a sporting pitch.
There are also some apprehensions over the weather. The conditions would be overcast on Thursday evening and for a few hours on Friday afternoon. However, an MET official has said that the chances of any unseasonal showers are unlikely.
“It will be partly cloudy on Friday afternoon but there won’t be any rains. The maximum temperature would be around 29-30 degrees whereas the minimum would be around 15-16 degrees celsius, which is around four degrees higher than normal and ideal,” said the official.