India had to win the third and final T20 in Pune on Jan 10 in order to win the series. They had no trouble in closing out the third T20 as the Lankan Lions caved in easily and gave India a 78 run victory.
India won the series 2-0 and will be happy with this T20 series victory, given the fact that at the start of the year one of their goals was to win more T20 games with the T20 World Cup approaching in October.
Strong Opening Partnership
R Sharma is the second most important batsman in the squad in the shorter formats of the game. The selectors decided to give him a rest for this series and surprising his presence was not missed because KL Rahul and S Dhawan played well together. They fired at the top of the order at Pune as they put together a 97 run partnership to give India a strong platform.
KL Rahul (54) and S Dhawan (52) scored at a strike rate in excess of 140 and got India off to a strong start. The selectors gave S Samson an opportunity in this game at number 3 but he got out early after playing one big shot. M Pandey who also got a look in played a good knock and remained unbeaten on 31.
The Indian captain came in at 6 and scored some quick runs towards the end of the innings along with S Thakur who hit 22 of just 8 balls to get India to an imposing total of 201.
Sri Lanka Collapse
The Lankans struggled against N Saini and S Thakur in the last game and lost 5 wickets to the two pacers. They did not learn from their mistakes and once again found both bowlers hard to play. N Saini picked up 3 wickets and S Thakur picked up 2 wickets as both bowlers showed their captain and selectors that they are good enough to play at this level.
W Sundar and Y Chahal were expensive and did not pose a big challenge to the Sri Lankan batsmen. DM de Silva (57) and A Matthews (31) tried to put up a fight but it was short lived as there was just too many runs to chase down.
S Thakur took the man of the match award for his cameo with the bat and for picking up 3 wickets. N Saini picked up the man of the series award.