Sri Lanka prevailed in a nail-biter in the second T20I against India as they levelled the three-match series 1-1 on Wednesday at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Dhananjaya de Silva, the most experienced batsman in the hosts’ current line-up stood up for his side when it mattered the most as they needed someone to anchor the chase as 133 was never going to be a challenging score.

The spinners set up the win for them as both Wanindu Hasaranga and Akila Dananjaya used the pitch to their advantage and bowled consistently accurate lines and lengths. It helped that the Indian batsmen played conservatively because of being one batsman short and the run rate never got too threatening for them.

Just when the visitors wanted to tee off, the Sri Lankan bowlers pegged them back and the score never looked threatening. Skipper Dasun Shanaka used eight bowlers including himself as the cutters and the change of pace worked very well on that sluggish Colombo pitch.

Dananjaya picked two wickets, while Hasaranga, Shanaka and Dushmantha Chameera all chipped in with one each. Somehow, India got to a score of 132. 

India needed early wickets and their spinners were right on the money. Vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar began the wicket-flow by dismissing Avshka Fernando. After which, Varun Chakravarthy knocked the poles of Sadeera Samarawickrama.

Sri Lanka were not able to build partnerships as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. India despite taking wickets, were missing some crucial chances – a missed review, a dripped catch by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but Kuldeep Yadav’s twin strikes kept them in the hunt.

Dhananjaya de Silva, however, kept the scorecard ticking and got the occasional boundary, which was all that they needed as the run rate never went into the threatening territory. Hasaranga’s boundary and a six from Chamika Karunaratne at the end did the trick as they chased down the total with two balls remaining.

The two sides now have everything to play for in the decider on Thursday, July 29.

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