It was as easy as it comes for India as they comfortably wrapped up a 2-0 T20I series win against an underperforming Sri Lankan side. After a washout in the first T20I at Guwahati and then a comprehensive 7-wicket win the second match at Indore, the Men in Blue raised the bar further with a massive 78-run win in the Pune T20I.
Winning the toss, Lasith Malinga put Virat Kohli’s men in to bat first and instantly regretted the decision. Openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul amassed 30 runs each in the Powerplay and before long had raced to a 97-run partnership off just 65 balls.
Dhawan made 52 off 36 balls and Rahul 54 off 36 balls. India lost a flurry of wickets after their great start - Dhawan, Sanju Samson (6 off 2 balls), Rahul and Shreyas Iyer (4 off 2 balls) all falling between the 11th and 13th overs.
Sri Lanka had definitely pulled things back but the start given by the openers meant that Virat Kohli’s measured 26 off 17 balls and Manish Pandey’s solid 31* off 18 balls was already pushing India to a sizeable total.
At the end of the 18th over, India were 167 for 6. That’s what Shardul Thakur launched his onslaught with 22 runs off 8 balls. Together, he and Pandey put on 37 off 15 balls, taking India to a massive 201/6 in 20 overs.
Unlike the Indian batsmen, the Lankans had a disastrous start to their innings and any real hopes of chasing the massive total suffered a major blow as they tottered at 26/4 in the sixth over.
Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva gave the innings some semblance of respectability with a 72-run fifth-wicket partnership but the visitors were never really in the game.
It was all over by the 16th over for the Lankans as they were dismissed for 123. Navdeep Saini taking 3/28 and Thakur and Washington Sundar claiming two wickets apiece. India winning by a massive 78 runs to take the series 2-0.