Hardik Pandya-led India National Cricket Team defeated Dasun Shanaka-led Sri Lanka National Cricket Team by 2 runs in the thrilling first T20I of the three-match series at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday, January 3.
Losing the toss and batting first, India posted 162/5 on the board with the help of good performances by Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Ishan Kishan.
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Ishan Kishan scored 37 and captain Hardik Pandya scored 29. Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel got together at the crease when India were at 94/5 and they had a remarkable 68-run stand in 35 balls. Overall, Deepak Hooda scored unbeaten 41 runs off 23 balls, including 1 four and 4 sixes, while Axar Patel scored 31 runs off 20 balls, including 3 fours and 1 six.
Defending the target, pacer Shivam Mavi shined on his debut as he ended his 4-over spell with superb figures of 4-0-22-4. Also, express pacer Umran Malik bowled a top-notch spell with good lines and lengths. He even clocked 155kph to pick up the huge wicket of Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka.
In the end, Axar Patel defended 13 runs off the final over to lead India to a 2-run win. The second T20I will be played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Thursday, January 5.
It is just cramps, Now I have tendency to scare people – Hardik Pandya
India captain Hardik Pandya gave an injury scare and he didn’t complete his 4-over quota despite conceding just 12 runs in the first three overs. At the post-match presentation ceremony, captain Pandya said:
“Now, yes definitely (getting used to being called captain). It is just cramps. Now I have a tendency to scare people but if I am smiling then everything is fine. I did not sleep well, did not drink enough water and hence the glutes were stiff.”
While talking about giving the last over to Axar Patel, Hardik Pandya said that he wants to put Team India in difficult situations. He said:
“I want to put this team in difficult situations because it will help us in big games. Bilaterals we are very good at and this is how we are going to challenge ourselves.
Hardik Pandya further said:
“To be honest, all the young guns got us out of the situation today. The conversation was very simple, I have seen him (Mavi) bowl well in the IPL and I know what are his strengths, just back yourself and don’t worry about getting hit. If the same situation is there then yes, I have worked on my swing bowling and I have worked on that (inswinger), I am bowling in nets and I like bowling with the new ball.”