The second round of the Nidahas Tri-series 2018 began with India taking on Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium.
Rain on the ground threatened to spoil the enthusiasm of the fans and the players before the match. The match was curtailed to 19 overs a side and India won the toss to put Sri Lanka into bat, as there was possibility of rain afterwards also. India brought in KL Rahul in place of Rishabh Pant.
Dhanushka Gunathilaka (17 off 8 balls) and Kusal Mendis (55 off 38 balls with 3 sixes and 3 fours) added 25 runs in under 3 overs. Tharanga (22), Perera (15) and Dasum Shanaka (19) kept the Sri Lankans on course to a score in excess of 180.
However, Shardul Thakur had other things in mind, as he picked 4/27 in four overs and along with Washington Sundar (2/21) kept the scoring down thanks to wickets at regular intervals. Fielding also helped them, as Suresh Raina picked up a brilliant catch to remove Gunathilaka. Sri Lanka ended up making 152/9 in 19 overs.
Rohit (11) And Dhawan (8) decided to go after the bowling, but both fell after hitting some blows to Akila Dananjaya. Suresh Raina gave some momentum to the Indian innings with 27 off 15 balls with 2 sixes and 2 fours. KL Rahul also was looking sturdy for his 18, but stepped on his own stumps to be dismissed.
Manish Pandey, who has more or less cemented his place in the Indian limited overs team, carried the rest of the chase on his shoulders and with help of Dinesh Karthik, took India to a wonderful win. Akila Dananjaya was the most successful bowler for Sri Lanka with figures of 2/19 in four overs.
Manish Pandey remained not out on 42 (31 balls, 3 fours and 1 six) and Dinesh Karthik remained unbeaten on 39 (25 balls, 5 fours) and added an unbeaten 68 for the 5th wicket.
SL 152/9 (K MENDIS 55; S THAKUR 4/27) lost to IND 153/4 (M PANDEY 42*, D KARTHIK 39*) by 6 wkts
By Jatin Sharma