Indian pacers struck at regular intervals to wreck Sri Lanka and they won the Pune match by 78 runs to clinch the three-match series 2-0. (Photo Credit: IANS)
In the last couple of Twenty20 International series, a peculiar pattern has emerged when it comes to the Indian cricket team. They will put up a clinical display in one match and then in the next one, have a shoddy performance in one aspect which results in their defeat. During the West Indies series recently, India had a great performance in Hyderabad but terrible fielding in Thiruvananthapuram saw them crashing down to earth before they recovered to win the final game in Mumbai. In the Sri Lanka series, barring the abandonment in Guwahati, the performance in Indore was clinical enough with bat, ball and the field as they cruised to a seven-wicket win. However, this is now the testing.
22:11 hrs IST: WICKET! Navdeep Saini ends the innings in style as Malinga mistimes the pull shot to mid off. Sri Lanka have folded up for 123 and India have won by 78 runs to win the three-match series 2-0.
22:07 hrs IST: WICKET! Dhananjaya de Silva's epic innings ends. Short ball from Saini and de Silva upper cuts it to third man where he holes out to Bumrah. Sri Lanka are 122/9 in the 16th over.
22:04 hrs IST: WICKET! Sundar gets his second. Sandakan dances down the track but Sundar fires a quick delivery on off stump, Sandakan misses it and gets stumped by Sanju Samson. Sri Lanka are 118/8 in 15 overs.
22:00 hrs IST: WICKET! Wanindu Hasaranga pushes a full ball to mid off and takes off for a single. He is not quick enough and Yuzvendra Chahal scores a direct hit at the bowler's end. Sri Lanka are 110/7 in the 14th over.
21:56 hrs IST: WICKET! Another one bites the dust and Shardul Thakur's game gets better. Short ball on the stumps, it kicks up and Dasun Shanaka mistimes the pull shot back to the bowler. Sri Lanka are 110/6 in the 14th over.
21:53 hrs IST: Dhananjaya de Silva blasts a four down the ground and Dasun Shanaka thumps a six off the backfoot of Yuzvendra Chahal as Sri Lanka reach 109/5 after 13 overs.
21:46 hrs IST: WICKET! Six and out! As has been the trend in this match. Mathews clobbers a flat six to long on but the next ball, he toe-ends the lofted shot off Sundar and Manish Pandey takes the catch at long on. Sri Lanka are 94/5 after 11.2 overs.
21:44 hrs IST: Dhananjaya de Silva slams two fours off Saini as Sri Lanka continue the fight. Sri Lanka are 88/4 after 11 overs.
21:39 hrs IST: The fifty-run partnership is up between Dhananjaya de Silva and Angelo Mathews. Sri Lanka are 78/4 after 10 overs.
21:35 hrs IST: Great over for Sri Lanka. Mathews blasts two sixes off Washington Sundar while Dhananjaya de Silva gets a boundary. 19 runs in the over as Sri Lanka are 67/4 after nine overs.
21:32 hrs IST: Dhananjaya de Silva cuts a short delivery from Yuzvendra Chahal as he keeps batting confidently. After eight overs, Sri Lanka are 48/4.
21:26 hrs IST: Washington Sundar bowls a tight over. Sri Lanka seem to be fighting for pride only now. After seven overs, Sri Lanka are 39/4.
21:24 hrs IST: Dhananjaya de Silva slams two boundaries off Saini. Sri Lanka are 35/4 in six overs.
21:20 hrs IST: WICKET! Another pacy yorker from Navdeep Saini. Kusal Perera skips down the track and makes room but Saini fires a yorker in excess of 140 kmph and the stumps are shattered. Sri Lanka are 26/4 in the sixth over.
21:17 hrs IST: Kusal Perara and Angelo Mathews slam boundaries off Shardul Thakur as they look to show some intent. After five overs, Sri Lanka are 26/3.
21:09 hrs IST: WICKET! Absolute comedy of errors from Sri Lanka. Bumrah bowls a pacy full toss on leg stump and Kusal Perera gets hit on the front pad. He does not know where the ball is and he sets off for a quick single. However, Oshada Fernando sacrifices his wicket and Manish Pandey runs and breaks the stumps to catch him short of the crease. After 3.1 overs, Sri Lanka are 15/3.
21:07 hrs IST: Navdeep Saini is into the attack and he bowls a tight line. After three overs, Sri Lanka are 15/2.
20:59 hrs IST: WICKET! Another one! After hitting a six, Thakur bowls the outswinger outside off, Avishka Fernando slices the drive to point. Sri Lanka are 11/2 in the second over.
20:56 hrs IST: WICKET! Poor shot from Danushka Gunathilaka and Jasprit Bumrah strikes in his first over. Short ball outside off, Gunathilaka fetches the pull from outside off and toe-ends it to mid on. Sri Lanka are 5/1 in the first over.
20:41 hrs IST: Brilliant from Shardul Thakur and Manish Pandey. Shardul lofts another six while Pandey finds the boundaries as India end on 201/6 after 20 overs.
20:34 hrs IST: Shardul Thakur hits a big six off Malinga and Pandey steers a full ball to the deep backward point fence. Malinga ends with 4-0-40-0. After 19 overs, India are 182/6.
20:26 hrs IST: WICKET! Needless way to end your innings. Kohli flicks a full ball from Kumara to long leg and sets off for a risky second. The throw from the deep is accurate and Kohli is miles short in attempting the second run. Next ball, Washington Sundar upper-cuts a short ball and is caught at third man. India are 164/6 after 17.4 overs.
20:22 hrs IST: Kohli launches Mathews straight over the ropes for a huge six and then flicks a four to the long leg boundary. India are 158/4 after 17 overs.
20:17 hrs IST: Superb over from Hasaranga and he ends his spell well. 4-0-27-1. India are 142/4 after 16 overs.
20:12 hrs IST: Manish Pandey drills a full ball from Lahiru Kumara to the deep extra cover region. He and Kohli will be hoping to get India near 190. After 14 overs, India are 130/4.
20:05 hrs IST: WICKET! This is a great passage of play from Sri Lanka. Flighted delivery from Sandakan and Shreyas Iyer, after getting off the mark with a four, chips it back to the bowler. After 12.5 overs, India are 122/4.
20:03 hrs IST: WICKET AND FIFTY! KL Rahul hits his ninth fifty but like just Dhawan, he falls after getting past fifty. Superb bowling from Sandakan as he gets this legbreak to drift away and draw Rahul out of the crease. After 12.3 overs, India are 118/3.
20:00 hrs IST: Rahul thumps a short ball from Hasaranga to the deep midwicket fence. After 12 overs, India are 112/2.
19:58 hrs IST: WICKET! Tragic. Hasaranga bowls the googly and Samson is flummoxed by the length to get hit on the front pad. He does not go for the review and his five-year comeback lasts just two balls. After 11.3 overs, India are 106/2.
19:54 hrs IST: What a way to get off the mark. Flighted from Sandakan, Sanju Samson blasts it down the ground over long off to get off the mark in style. What a way to end five years of waiting. After 11 overs, India are 103/1.
19:53 hrs IST: WICKET! Fifty and out! Sandakan floats a full and flighted delivery on leg stump, Dhawan muscles the slog sweep hard and flat to deep midwicket but he holes out to the fielder. After 10.5 overs, India are 97/1.
19:51 hrs IST: With a drive to deep cover off Sandakan, Dhawan eases the pressure on his Twenty20 career by registering his 10th fifty. This will increase the competition even further now. After 10.2 overs, India are 94/0.
19:49 hrs IST: Dhawan absolutely mauls a six from Hasaranga into the stands at deep midwicket. He is nearing a well-deserved fifty. After 10 overs, India are 92/0.
19:45 hrs IST: Lakshan Sandakan, the left-arm chinaman is into the attack now. He too bowls a decent over as India move to 82/0 after nine overs.
19:41 hrs IST: Wanindu Hasaranga, the Sri Lanka legspinner, is into the attack and he bowls a tight over. Dhawan has outscored Rahul. Just seen it now. India are 76/0 after eight overs.
19:37 hrs IST: Dhawan is nearing a fifty as he steers a slow and short ball from Mathews to the square third man fence. India are 72/0 after seven overs.
19:31 hrs IST: Dhawan is getting into the groove now. He creams two wonderful off-drives of Lahiru Kumara and India have raced to 63/0 after six overs.
19:26 hrs IST: Dhawan edges a full ball from Malinga to the third man fence and he ends the over in style with a flicked boundary past mid on. After five overs, India are 52/0.
19:21 hrs IST: Dhawan clobbers a four down the ground off Dhananjaya de Silva while Rahul deposits a full toss on his pads to the deep midwicket fence. After four overs, India are 39/0.
19:17 hrs IST: Malinga gives Dhawan no room from round the wicket and he bowls a tight over. After three overs, India are 26/0.
19:09 hrs IST: DROPPED! Dhawan gets a life. The left-hander walks across and hoicks a full ball on the pads from Angelo Mahews to deep square leg but Dasun Shanaka fails to latch onto the catch that is going over his head. Rahul continues to bat brilliantly with two fours past deep extra cover. After two overs, India are 22/0.
19:05 hrs IST: Rahul shows he is in great form as he carves a shortish ball outside off past backward point for a boundary off Lasith Malinga. After the first over, India are 9/0.
18:34 hrs IST: Massive news from the Indian cricket team. Kuldeep Yadav is out and Yuzvendra Chahal is in. The big news: Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey are in the side. No Rishabh Pant and Shivam Dube.
18:32 hrs IST: Sri Lanka have chosen to bowl against India in Pune. Angelo Mathews and Lakshan Sandakan return to the side. So, Mathews plays his first Twenty20 International after two years.
18:25 hrs IST: It looks like Angelo Mathews will come into the side. Remember, Isuru Udana is out of the series and he could be a good fit for the Sri Lankan team. Remember, Mathews has not played a T20I for close to two years.
18:08 hrs IST: India put up a clinical performance with the ball, with Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini and Kuldeep Yadav all bowling well. One feels that there will not be many changes today, which could mean Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey continue to sit on the sidelines.
17:50 hrs IST: A warm welcome to the third and final Twenty20 International between India and Sri Lanka from the MCA stadium in Pune. This is the venue where Sri Lanka last won a bilateral Twenty20 match against India. That was way back in 2016. Five years and counting, they have still not unlocked the India jinx. Can they repeat the heroics of 2016 in the new decade?