India produced a masterclass display achieving their biggest T20 international victory in terms of balls remaining by defeating Sri Lanka by 9 wickets at Vishakappatanam to clinch the three-match series 2-1.
Ravichandran Ashwin was the star of the day, picking up four wickets after being handed the new ball as the visitors were bundled out for a meagre 82 runs while Shikhar Dhawan made light work of the run chase with a run-a-ball 46 to see India home with more than six overs remaining.
MS Dhoni made a brave call to bowl first on a pitch which didn’t look much helpful to the bowlers but it proved to be exactly that as Ashwin, coupled with bizarre batting by the Sri Lankan batsmen handed India a comfortable victory and further boost their confidence ahead of the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup.
Here are the player ratings from today’s encounter at Vishakapatnam.
Shikhar Dhawan: 8/10
Shikhar Dhawan continued his fine form and looked in command throughout his stay at the crease and was unlucky to miss out on a well-deserved half-century as he ran out of runs to chase. He smashed five boundaries and a six during his knock of 46 and India will certainly be banking on him to continue giving good starts at the top along with Rohit Sharma.
Rohit Sharma: 5/10
Perished for 13 as he looked to be in a mood to finish the game off in a hurry. He danced down the track to hit a delightful six before flicking a ball to the ropes on the leg side. However, he played across the line to a delivery from Chameera and was caught plumb in front.
Ajinkya Rahane: 6/10
Batted confidently during his stay at the crease ad played the supporting role to Dhawan perfectly sharing an unbeaten 55-run partnership for the second wicket that saw India home with more than six overs to spare.
Suresh Raina: 7/10
Didn’t get an opportunity to bat but sure made an impression with the ball picking up two wickets, albeit one being a lucky one. He deceived Perera beautifully with a flighted delivery and was active in the field as usual.
Yuvraj Singh: 3/10
It was a day to forget for Yuvraj as Dhoni’s promise to give him more opportunities with the bat failed to materialise while he also ended up conceding 15 runs in the single over he bowled, after getting clobbered for two huge sixes.
MS Dhoni: 6/10
Made the right call after winning the toss and was spot on with his bowling changes as well. Made good use of the Sri Lankan batting collapse to give his part-time spinners a go with the ball
Hardik Pandya: 5/10
Couldn’t leave an impact on the match as he bowled two uneventful overs and didn't get an opportunity to display his big-hitting skills either.
Ravindra Jadeja: 9/10
There were suggestions prior to the game that the Saurashtra all-rounder might be rested in order to give the uncapped Pawan Negi his first taste of international cricket, but Ravindra Jadeja proved yet again his value to the Indian side.
It was another energetic display from Jadeja as he effected a brilliant run-out, took a sharp outfield catch and also got the key wicket of Dasun Shanaka, who looked like the only Sri Lankan batsman to bat with any purpose.
Ravichandran Ashwin: 10/10
With figures that read 4-1-8-4, it would be criminal to give Ravichandran Ashwin anything less than 10. The wily off-spinner was on his mark right from the word go and had the commentators and Sri Lankan players alike amazed with the amount of turn he was getting with the new ball.
He decimated the Sri Lankan top order with four early wickets and was unlucky to miss out on becoming the first Indian bowler to take five wickets in a T20 international.
Jasprit Bumrah: 8/10
It was yet another encouraging display from the Mumbai Indians youngster as he bowled his heart out on a pitch that offered very less for the faster bowlers. He troubled the batsmen with his line and length and was hard to get away.
Ashish Nehra: 7/10
Was a tad bit expensive in the context of the match conceding 17 runs in his two overs but was perhaps a little unlucky as he was not given another over after picking up the wicket of Milinda Siriwardana.
Niroshan Dickwella: 1/10
The player himself must be wondering what he was doing stepping down the wicket to the experienced Ravichandran Ashwin off just the second ball he faced. It was a pre-meditated shot that went awfully wrong and gifted Dhoni with an easy stumping. It was the worst possible start for the visitors and Dickwella’s wicket inevitably started off their batting collapse.
Tillakaratne Dilshan: 2/10
To say that Dilshan has had a series to forget in India would be an understatement. Ruled out of the 1st T20I with injury, Dilshan was dismissed for a golden duck in the match at Ranchi. He didn’t fare much better today either as he was caught plumb in front of the wicket to give Ashwin his second wicket in the opening over itself.
Dinesh Chandimal: 2/10
Yet another batsman who seemed to bat without considering the pitch and the situation their team was in. The Sri Lankan skipper had smashed a couple of boundaries, the second one a bit lucky off the previous over bowled by Ashish Nehra, and just when one thought that he would take it easy against the in-form Ashwin, Chandimal decides to charge Ashwin and ended up lofting a high one to Hardik Pandya at mid-off.
Asela Gunaratne: 4/10
Gunaratne became Ashwin’s fourth victim of the night but can consider himself unlucky as he was given out caught at leg slip when the ball had, in fact, went to the fielder off the thigh pad. He looked to be playing sensibly but one can only wonder how much he would have made against the constantly menacing Indian spin attack.
Milinda Siriwardene: 1/10
Another dismissal which left neutrals scratching their heads in bewilderment. Having scored a boundary off his first ball, Siriwardene decided to try his luck once again with a premeditated pull shot but failed to keep his eye on the ball from Nehra which kept a bit low and went on to crash the off stump.
Dasun Shanaka: 6/10
Ended up as Sri Lanka’s top scorer on the night with a score of 19 and can be credited with giving a bit of respectability to their total. Shanaka batted patiently, waiting for the bad balls like the high full toss from Yuvraj which he dismissed handsomely to the stands. He followed it up with another sixer straight over the bowler's over but was outplayed on before he could inflict major damage.
Seekkuge Prasanna: 5/10
Looked impressive in the short time he spent at the crease smashing two boundaries but made a bad call to run on a misfield and found himself short of the crease after a brilliant fielding effort by Ravindra Jadeja.
Thisara Perera: 5/10
The only other player to reach double figures from the Sri Lankan line-up apart from Shanaka, Perera was deceived by the flight of the delivery from Suresh Raina and ended up slicing it to Ravindra Jadeja at deep cover who took a brilliant catch to send Perera back to the pavilion.
Sachithra Senanayake: 5/10
Senanayake’s dismissal was strange, to say the least with MS Dhoni’s strong appeal convincing the umpire to lift his finger after the ball had missed the edge of his bat. Suresh Raina himself was unconvinced that there was anything in it but joined in the appeal and was rewarded. Needless to say, Senanayake was miffed by the decision.
He couldn’t produce the goods with the ball either as he went wicketless despite bowling out his quota of four overs.
Dushmantha Chameera: 5/10
The 24-year-old managed to scrap his way to 9 with the bat before picking up the solitary wicket of Rohit Sharma in the Indian run-chase. He looks promising for the future but was helpless on the day.
Dilhara Fernando: 4/10
His comeback game for Sri Lanka couldn’t have been any more forgettable from the team perspective as well as from a personal point of view. He was castled by Bumrah and could only manage two overs with the ball as India completed the victory with more than six overs to spare.