India brought about a bright conclusion to their 2017 campaign whitewashing Sri Lanka 3-0 in the T20I series with a victory in the final match at Mumbai on Sunday.
Although Sri Lanka proved to be more competitive in the bowling department in this match than the previous two matches, they still ended up on the losing side as India registered a 5-wicket victory with three deliveries to spare.
Winning the toss, the Indian captain Rohit Sharma elected to field first. And the bowlers did a superb job as they restricted Sri Lanka to a paltry total of 135/7. However, no one realized it would turn out to be a steep chase for India as the Sri Lankan bowlers responded in a superb manner.
They bowled tight lines and took the game to the wire. However, it was Dinesh Karthik’s Six in the penultimate over off Nuwan Pradeep that took the victory out of Sri Lanka’s reach. Let us now have a look at the hits and misses.
Niroshan Dickwella- Miss
Sri Lanka’s aggressive wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella has been involved in quite a few verbal spats with the Indian players throughout this entire tour.
Although he had some moments of flashes with the bat throughout this entire tour, things didn’t quite go in his way in this match as he was dismissed for just a solitary run of Jaydev’s Unadkat’s bowling.
This was the third time in as many matches in this T20I series that he turned out to be Unadkat’s bunny. And all his dismissals resulted from superb execution of slower balls from Unadkat.
Dickwella’s dismissal left Sri Lanka in a spot of bother as the lost an early wicket with just eight runs on the board, that too, only in the second over of their innings.
Kusal Perera- Miss
Kusal Perera was the one who made the Himalayan climb of 261 runs at Indore look possible for a certain period with his destructive innings of 77 runs off 37 deliveries. However, he couldn’t continue on the momentum gained with his innings in the last match as he was dismissed for just four runs this time.
It was the debutant Washington Sundar who brought an early halt to his innings with a superb catch of his own bowling. His wicket fell in the very next over to that off Dickwella’s and thus left Sri Lanka reeling on a score of 14/2.
Just like the current crop of Sri Lankan batsmen, Perera also paid the price for his lack of temperament and consistency.
Jaydev Unadkat- Hit
He was the one who gave India the early breakthrough into the Sri Lankan innings in the form of Dickwella. He followed that up with the wicket of Upul Tharanga who hit it straight to the hands of Hardik Pandya at deep mid-wicket.
He finished up with a spell of 2/15 in his four overs. The fascinating part of his spell was the way he mixed up his deliveries and the number of dot balls—15 –that he bowled.
He concluded the series with a tally of four wickets in three matches at a superb average of 11.00 and a scintillating economy rate of 4.88. The 26-year old left arm pacer has surely made a case for ODI selection with these performances.
Washington Sundar- Hit
Washington Sundar—the 18-year old Tamil Nadu all-rounder—produced a promising performance on debut as he bowled a superb spell returning with bowling figures of 4-22-1.
He put shackles on the feets of the Sri Lankan batsmen early on in the innings. He was not at all hassled when asked to open the bowling for India on his debut T20I match. That sums up the confidence and faith the young lad has in himself.
He bowled full and mixed up his pace quite well. Most importantly, he kept his bowling simple as he depended mostly on his regular off-spinners and a couple of variations. Sundar seemed very controlled in his approach and didn’t give the Lankan batsmen even an inch to free their arms.
With such a good bowling performance he showed that his performances in the IPL and TNPL were no fluke either. Despite being short of first-class experience, Sundar has proved himself good enough to compete with other Indian players, that too, at such a young age.
Dushmantha Chameera- Hit
Dushmantha Chameera showed a lot of heart today as he kept Sri Lanka in the game with two crucial strikes at two crucial moments. He bowled with great pace clocking up speeds of over 140 kph regularly and also got the ball to swing a lot.
First, it was KL Rahul who was trapped right in front of the stumps in the 4th over of the Indian innings. That gave Sri Lanka the first breakthrough. Next, it was Manish Pandey who was looking dangerous and probably was going to run away with the game.
However, a fierce inswinger from Chameera castled Pandey and halted his sublime innings. He returned with bowling figures of 2/22 in his four overs but it came in a losing cause, unfortunately.