Indian bowlers fire in unison to restrict Sri Lanka to 142/9
Indore, Jan 7: The Indian bowlers fired in unison on Jasprit Bumrah's return to international cricket with Navdeep Saini shining bright as they restricted Sri Lanka to 142/9 in the second T20 international at the Holkar Stadium here on Tuesday.
All eyes were on the returning Bumrah after India captain Virat Kohli decided to field first after his counterpart Lasith Malinga called wrong at the toss.
Bumrah, who has been out of action after India's tour of the West Indies in July-August due to a stress fracture on his back, started off with a wide in the first ball of the match and was hit for a four in the second as he finished conceding seven runs.
Danushka Gunathilaka and Avishka Fernando hit boundaries off him in the fourth over as India's premier pacer looked a bit rusty starting off but in the end bowled a superbly disguised slower one to castle Dasun Shanaka in the 17th over.
Bumrah was taken for 12 in the final over by Wanindu Hasaranga (16 not out) who hit a hat-trick of fours to end the innings with a flourish as the fast bowler returned figures of 1/31 in his four overs.
Shardul Thakur (3/23) was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts but it was Saini (2/18) who impressed the most as Kuldeep Yadav (2/38) also picked up two wickets.
For the Lankans, Kusal Perera top-scored with a 28-ball 34 (3x6).
The Sri Lanka openers looked good against India's pace trio of Bumrah, Shardul and Saini before Kohli went to Washington Sundar (1/29) and the spinner did the trick as Fernando (22) hit straight to mid off where Saini took a simple catch.
Sri Lanka raced to 48/1 after six overs but just as Gunathilaka was looking good as he thumped Shardul Thakur for a four down mid off in the sixth over, a Navdeep Saini thunderbolt at 147.5 kph beat him all ends up to rattle the stumps. He was gone for 20.
In-form Perera welcomed Kuldeep with a six over deep midwicket in the 12th over. But the chinaman bowler, who recently became the first Indian to take two hat-tricks in international cricket, had the last laugh as he got Oshada Fernando (10) stumped in the third ball of the same over.
Perera reverse pulled Kuldeep for a six in the first ball of the 14th over as Sri Lanka looked to up the ante, but in the very next delivery Kuldeep once again emerged victorious as the batsman holed out to Shikhar Dhawan at long on trying to clear the boundary.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa (9) was caught behind off Saini whose searing pace caused the batters a lot of trouble as Sri Lanka reached 104/5 after 15 overs.
In the last five overs, the visitors managed just 34 runs, losing four wickets as Shardul picked up three in quick succession.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 142/9 in 20 overs (Kusal Perera 34; Shardul Thakur 3/23) vs India