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1st T20I: All-round India Crush Sri Lanka to Take 1-0 Lead in Lucknow

India continued their dominating display on home soil with a crushing win over Sri Lanka to take 1-0 lead in the three-match series that began on Thursday. After  scintillating knocks from Ishan Kishan (89 off 56 balls) and Shreyas Iyer (57 not out off 28 balls) propelled India to a challenging 199/2, bowlers put up a combined display to limit the tourists to 137/6 for a 62-run win at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium.

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Bhuvneshwar Kumar provided India a dream start when he had opener Pathum Nissanka bowled off the very first delivery of the chase. The right-arm pacer also got rid of the other opener Kamil Mishara (13) inside the Powerplay.

The spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja applied the squeeze in the middle after Venkatesh Iyer left Sri Lanka struggling at 36/3 with the scalp of Janith Liyanage.

Charith Asalanka hit an unbeaten fifty – 53 off 47 – to provide some respect to the final total but it was not enough as India raced to their 10th consecutive T20I win.

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Earlier, Kishan, who didn’t have a great time against the West Indies, toyed with the Sri Lanka bowlers and mixed fluency with dismissive shots to reach his highest T20I score. Iyer, on the other hand, stepped up in the last three overs to provide a great finish to India’s innings after being pushed into batting first.

Captain Rohit Sharma began with a clip through the on-side before going into sedate mode. His partner, Kishan, got enough width from Chamika Karunaratne to smash three boundaries in the arc between cover and third man in the third over to get India up and running.

Kishan continued to smash a flurry of boundaries off Lahiru Kumara, Praveen Jayawickrama and Dushmantha Chameera in the next three overs for India to be 58/0 at the end of power-play. Post power-play, Kishan crashed a wide googly from Jeffrey Vandersay through cover. On the very next ball, Kishan was deceived by a wrong’un, only for Janith Liyanage to spill a forward diving chance at deep mid-wicket.

Sharma cracked some boundaries while Kishan marched his way to reaching his second T20I fifty. Sri Lanka finally had a breakthrough in the 12th over when his slower delivery kept low and went past Sharma’s attempted slog to hit the off-stump.

Post Sharma’s fall, India’s scoring went slow but Kishan broke the shackles in the 16th over by Kumara. Kishan was quick in dispatching the slower delivery over long-on, followed by hammering back-to-back fours through point and mid-wicket.

But in the next over, Kishan departed for 89, top-edging a pull off a slower delivery from Shanaka to deep mid-wicket. Iyer timed his flicks sweetly before hammering Karunaratne over long-on for a big six, followed by collecting fours twice through short third man.

In the final over, Iyer again launched a six over long-on and them brought up his fifty off just 25 balls with a flick through square leg. Iyer was decisive in India collecting 69 runs off the last five overs.

With Input From IANS 

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