India vs Sri Lanka 2020, 3rd T20I: 3 Talking points of the match
India won the third and the final T20I against Sri Lanka by 78 runs in Pune and conquered the series 2-0. This was also India's 13th win over Sri Lanka in T20Is.
Sri Lankan skipper Lasith Malinga won the toss and invited India to bat first. The Indian openers provided a strong start and ended with 201-6 in 20 overs thanks to the fireworks by Manish Pandey (31 runs off 18 balls) and Shardul Thakur (22 runs off 8 balls) at the backend of the innings.
Chasing 202, Sri Lanka lost their way as they lost four quick wickets in the powerplay overs. Although the partnership of Angelo Mathews (31 runs off 20 balls) and Dhananjaya de Silva (57 runs off 36 balls) gave a ray of hope, their departures closed the door for Sri Lanka as they were all out for 123 runs in 15.5 overs.
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There were several points of discussion from the match. Here are 3 such talking points from the third T20I.
#1 Sanju Samson failed to grab his long-awaited opportunity
After being put to bat first, India decided to shuffle their batting order to give youngsters more time in the middle. Skipper Virat Kohli dropped himself to No.6 and promoted Sanju Samson up the order in the No.3 slot.
After replacing Rishabh Pant in the squad, all eyes were on Samson to see how he utilizes the chance he was waiting for a long time. And surprisingly, he was sent out to the middle after the departure of Shikhar Dhawan (52 runs off 36 balls) in the 11th over.
Samson opened his account with a six and indicated his hard-hitting capability. Although he had enough time to settle in and play big innings, Samson missed the opportunity in the next ball he faced, misjudging a googly from Wanindu Hasaranga and got trapped right in front of the wicket.
It was disappointing to see the youngster walking back to the pavilion. He waited for a long time to make his way into the playing XI and it was the last thing he would have wanted.
#2 Sri Lanka could not capitalize on the flurry of wickets
The match was a do-or-die one for Sri Lanka as they were looking to save the series. After opting to bowl first, their bowlers had to toil hard to get rid of the Indian openers. The opportunity came when the Sri Lankan spinners spun a web and scalped four wickets in a span of just 13 balls to tilt the tide towards their side. But the bowlers failed to tame the pair of Manish Pandey and Virat Kohli as they stitched a 42-run stand (28 balls) for the fifth wicket and allowed the match to slip out of their hands.
Sri Lanka once again mounted a comeback after the wickets of Virat Kohli and Washington Sundar in the 18th over. However, the bowlers failed to capitalize and leaked 34 runs in the last two overs, allowing India to cross the 200-run mark.
Sri Lanka could have contained India but failing to capitalize on the flurry of wickets during the innings made them chase a huge total.
#3 Sri Lankan top order collapses in front of the Indian fast bowlers
The Sri Lankan batsmen needed to play a long and responsible innings to win the match and it was never going to be easy against an in-form Indian bowling unit.
The top four of the Sri Lankan batting unit looked clueless in front of the Indian fast bowling trio- Jasprit Bumrah (1/5), Shardul Thakur (2/19) and Navdeep Saini (3/28). The Sri Lankan batsmen could not find a way to counter-attack the Indian bowlers.
Sri Lanka lost their first four wickets for just 26 runs in 5.1 overs, which put the contest beyond them. Mathews and Dhananjaya did weather the storm for some overs but required run-rate kept creeping up and that made them play big shots and lose their wickets in the process.
After their departure, the defeat was inevitable for Sri Lanka, eventually falling 78 runs short. A firing top order could have created chances of winning, but their submission in front of the Indian fast bowlers cost them the match.