Nidahas Trophy 2018, India vs Sri Lanka 4th T20 : Who said what after India romp home with six wickets
India took a decisive step towards sealing their spot in the finals as they put in a clinical performance against hosts Sri Lanka as they romped home with an easy six wickets win in the fourth match of the Nidahas tri-series.
Captain Rohit Sharma won the toss yet again and decided to bowl first after the match was clipped to a 19-overs affair owing to a rain delay.
Barring Kusal Mendis, none of the other Sri Lankan batsmen could get going on what was a rather good surface to bat on and after a very bright start, the hosts fizzled away in the middle overs to be reduced to 152 in their allotted quota of overs.
Mendis top scored with 55 in 38 balls and his innings was replete with three boundaries and three sixes. However bereft of any assistance from the other end, the hosts could not maximise the impact of this innings and they collapsed to 152 in 19 overs.
India got off to a breezy start courtesy Rohit Sharma, but the captain departed for 11 and for once Shikhar Dhawan did not quite kick on.
However, Suresh Raina was in the groove as he flew to a 15-ball 27 run innings to put India on course.
Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik ensured no jitters towards the latter end of the match as India easily breached the target with six wickets to spare.
Here is how the players reacted:
Manish Pandey, unbeaten on 42: "I thought we had a good partnership in the end. They started well, I thought we did that pretty well. We discuss about that (plans against Sri Lankan bowlers). Batting at number 5, I should be there till the end. They (bowlers) have comeback really well after the first game. We had a couple of plans and we restricted well. We have not got too much batting after 6 and 7, so myself and DK had to be there till the end."
Shardul Thakur, Man of the Match, 27 for 4 wickets: "I loved it. Happy to receive the award. Always dreamt of winning a game for India and here I am. Frankly there were some nerves but no pressures. Nothing special, we just discussed how to execute our plans and it worked out for the better today."
Thisara Perera, Sri Lanka captain: "This is not a 152-run wicket. The batting did well initially, but the middle-order failed. We were 30-40 runs behind. 175-180 would have been competitive and could have been defended. First 6 overs, we couldn't execute the bowling plans. We'll take the positives from the match and we'll see what we can do next match. Next game is a must-win, and I'm sure we can give our 100% next match and win the game."
Rohit Sharma, India captain: "Smart performance, especially from the bowlers. To restrict a batting unit like that, it was a great effort from the bowlers. The conditions weren't easy for the bowlers, there was a bit of dew on the ground. Neither easy for the spinners nor the pacers, but they have executed their plans really well. Just continued where we left off against Bangladesh. We discussed a lot of things and it was very much on display for everyone to see. We bat really deep and we haven't had a batting line-up like that in a long time. We have a lot of all-rounders, but the middle-order hasn't had opportunities to bat in the recent past, but as you saw today, Manish and Dinesh batted extremely well. Can't single out a performance, it was a complete team effort. We aren't laid back at all because all three teams are still alive in the tournament."