India got hammered in their first match against Sri Lanka and were determined to bounce back against the Lankans in Colombo. Rain delayed the start of play and the match was reduced to 19 overs a side. India won the toss and it was an easy decision for captain Rohit Sharma to ask the Lankans to bat first.
Bowlers Restrict Sri Lanka To 152
Sri Lanka got off to a flyer as the openers were severe on J Unadkat. The left arm seamer who is leading the Indian attack struggled to find his line and length. However Washington Sundar has performed very well during the tri-series opening the bowling for India. Sundar and S Thakur took wickets at crucial times to prevent the Sri Lankan batsmen from forming partnerships and increasing the tempo.
Thakur was impressive sending down his 4 overs for just 27 and taking 4 crucial wickets. Thakur has been way more impressive than J Unadkat in the shorter format of the game and could be groomed as a potential replacement for the disgraced M Shami who has gotten himself into a lot of trouble due to recent allegations from his spouse.
Thakur has shown that he has the ability to be a cog in the Indian bowling line-up in the shorter formats of the game. Should things work out for M Shami and the BCCI decides to give him a contract, Thakur could still be in the scheme of things based on his recent performances. If he can finish the tournament on a high and take India to victory, there is no denying that the selectors will keep a careful watch on him.
Thakur received good support from Sundar and Y Chahal who despite the rain, managed to bowl economically and take wickets. Sundar picked up 2 wickets and Chahal took 1 as they restricted Sri Lankan to 152.
Pandey And Karthik Take India Home Comfortably
Rohit Sharma failed yet again and this time S Dhawan also fell early to give the Lankans a glimmer of hope. Rahul and S Raina tried to steady the ship but Rahul got out hit wicket and Raina followed shortly after. M Pandey and D Karthik have provided solidarity to the Indian middle order throughout the tournament and once again the two batsmen put their heads down and made sure they took India home comfortably. Both batsmen finished unbeaten with Pandey on 42 and Karthik on 39.
Thakur And Sundar Send Strong Message To Selectors
The man of the match award was given to S Thakur for his match winning spell. The selectors will be keeping a close eye on both Thakur and W Sundar who have performed very well in the Nidahas T20 series. With M Shami battling off-field troubles, Thakur could end up being a good replacement.
India will look to beat Bangladesh on March 14th and book themselves a place in the final which takes place on March 18.