India Beat SL by 93 Runs, Register Their Biggest-Ever T20 Victory
KL Rahul hit a classy half-century, Yuzvendra Chahal picked four wickets and MS Dhoni justified his promotion to the number four slot as India beat Sri Lanka by a massive 93 runs to complete their biggest-ever T20 victory in Cuttack on Wednesday.
The 93-run win breaks the earlier record of a 90-run victory over England in Colombo in September, 2012.
Sent into bat, Rahul's classy fifty, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 39* and Manish Pandey’s 32 powered India to a challenging 180/3 in 20 overs.
Chahal then finished with brilliant figures of 4 for 23, taking a wicket in each of his four overs to lead Sri Lanka's downfall as the visitors were bundled out for 89 in 16 overs on a dew-laden Barabati Stadium. After the leg-spinner's guile, it was Kuldeep Yadav's turn to get into the act with figures of 2 for 18 as the wrist spin duo once again did the job for India.
It was yet another pathetic batting show by the Sri Lankans, who showed little resistance as wickets kept tumbling following Upul Tharanga's 16-ball 23-run burst at the top.
Earlier, in the absence of first-choice opener Shikhar Dhawan, Rahul grabbed the opportunity with both hands hitting seven fours and one six en route to a 48-balls 61 after being put into bat by Sri Lanka skipper Thisara Perera.
Rahul and number three Shreyas Iyer (24) put together 63 runs from 46 balls as India looked to push for a 200-run mark on a two-paced Barabati wicket before Sri Lanka bounced back, dismissing the duo in a span of 11 balls.
But former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was promoted to number four, smashed an unbeaten 22-ball 39 and Pandey had other plans as the duo stitched an unbeaten 68-run stand off 34 balls for the fourth wicket to prop up India's total.
Sri Lanka’s Chase
In reply, Sri Lanka showed hardly any fight.
Playing his first match since his T20I debut in June 2016, left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat (1/7) returned to the side with elan, giving India the breakthrough in the second over.
Unadkat dismissed Niroshan Dickwella (13) for his maiden T20I wicket as he conceded just seven runs in the first two overs before Chahal reigned supreme.
Chahal was hit for successive fours and six by a dangerous-looking Tharanga but he bounced back with Dhoni taking a superb catch down the leg side. Chahal returned in the eight over and this time dismissed former Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews, caught and bowled. He took his third after Asela Gunratne (4) was stumped by Dhoni before finishing his quota with the wicket of Sri Lankan skipper Thisara Perera.
Chahal was named Man of The Match.