India’s first full match of 2020 (with the first T20I in Guwahati washed out on Sunday) saw the Men in Blue beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in Indore.
Electing to field first, India’s bowlers kept the Lankan batsmen quiet throughout the innings, despite moments of explosive hitting by the visitors. Opener Avishka Fernando began well, looking especially comfortable against India’s pace attack. However, he was unable to show the same flair against the spinners, and fell for 22 off 16 balls to Washington Sundar.
At the other end Danushka Gunathilaka struggled to 20 off 21 balls before Navdeep Saini rattled his stumps.
Kusal Perera gave some impetus to the middle order with a well made 34 off 28 balls, including three sixes off the spinners, but was unable to help the struggling Sri Lankan batting.
Wanindu Hasaranga’s three consecutive boundaries off Jasprit Bumrah to end the innings infused some life into a dull batting display but it was only enough to take the visitors to 142/9 in 20 overs.
The pitch was good for batting and the Indian openers showed just how poorly the Lankan batsmen played. KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan raced to a 71-run stand for the first wicket, more or less ensuring that Sri Lanka were never going to be able to come back into the game.
Rahul fell first, bowled by Hasaranga for 45 off 32 balls, with the bowler picking up Dhawan’s wicket two overs later, out for 32 off 29 balls.
Shreyas Iyer came out and smashed 34 off 26 balls and with Virat Kohli racing to 30* off 17 balls, the Sri Lankans could put up little resistance.
India won by 7 wickets with 15 balls to spare to take a 1-0 lead in the 3-T20I series.
The third and final T20I is in Pune on Friday.