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India picked up another convincing victory over Sri Lanka, beating them by six wickets in the third T20I in Dharamsala and winning the clear round at 3-0. It was India’s 12th consecutive victory in the T20I, the longest consecutive winning streak for a full member, and their seventh series victory on home trot in this format.

Shreyas Iyer was again among the points and went undefeated in the series, deftly replacing Virat Kohli at one try. Picking up from last night’s leads, Iyer played with 73* from 45 as India sealed another comfortable chase, topping Sri Lanka’s 146/5 total with 3.1 overs to spare.

Openers fail, Iyer no

It was Rohit Sharma and Sanju Samson who opened the batting in the absence of Ishan Kishan, who was ruled out earlier in the day after being hit in the helmet in the final game. Rohit fell once again to Dushmantha Chameera, for the sixth time in T20I, when he failed to gain the upper hand on a short ball while Samson edged Chamika Karunaratne behind for a 12-ball 18. Iyer , as a result, was at the crease as from the second round, but there was no measurement of the pitch and pace this time around. He hit his stride with three bounds in Lahiru Kumara’s opening over and there was no turning back from there. The half century only produced 29 balls.

Indian team players are affected

Samson opening the stick wasn’t India’s only gamble as they looked to give all players on the team playing time in the middle. So resisting the temptation to make his T20I debut at Mayank Agarwal in the absence of Ishan Kishan, who was ruled out after being hit in the helmet yesterday, India entered with just three specialist hitters with a flurry of all-rounders to be continued.

Moreover, it was Deepak Hooda who struck at No. 4 and Venkatesh Iyer who struck at No. 5 instead of Ravindra Jadeja who last night had led India to victory. Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were all rested, and Jadeja did not play which allowed Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi and Kuldeep Yadav to return their arm.

Before, Sri Lanka was slow and steady…

Well, he wasn’t the kind that won races, not in T20 cricket at least. Going for bat first (and you can see why Sri Lanka did that, wanting to test themselves on a pitch with good pace and bounce back, à la Australia), the visitors got nowhere to go, totaling just 43 runs in the first 10 overs. They didn’t have to face Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar, but Siraj and Avesh had no less of an impact, reducing Sri Lanka to 11/3 in four overs. Danushka Gunathilaka was the first to go, sliding a ball from Siraj over his stumps into the opening. Avesh followed in the next part, catching Pathum Nissanka halfway through to get his first international wicket and soon had Charith Asalanka with the extra rebound as well. Siraj and Avesh had three overs apiece on the power play, leaving Sri Lanka to score just 18 runs in that span.

The fight against spin continued

There was no Chahal today either, but Bishnoi and Kuldeep stepped up in the middle overs, completing their 8 overs for 57 runs. Bishnoi, a little more expensive than Kuldeep, hit on his first over, getting Lanith Liyanage with his googly. Overall, the Sri Lankan hitters struggled to read the spinners on the hand and struggled to reach the limits in the middle.

Shanaka to the rescue again

It was the Sri Lankan captain who once again took Sri Lanka to 146, an unimaginable tally as the visitors were shocked at 78/5 after 15 overs. He again picked a few points against Harshal Patel at the back, but it was Avesh against whom he helped pick 19 points in the 19th. Avesh finished with numbers of 2 for 23 despite a costly final.

68 runs came in the final five overs, courtesy of an undefeated 86-run stand with Chamika Karunaratne. But all that aside, the total still turned out well below par for a mighty Indian beating the charge. (cribuzz)

Scoring:

Sri Lanka 146 for 5 weeks in 20 Overs (Dasun Shanaka 74 no, Dinesh Chandimal 22, Chamika Karunaratne 12 no; Avesh Khan 2-23)

India

148 for 4 weeks in 16.5 Overs (Shreyas Iyer 73 no, Ravindra Jadeja 22 no; Lahiru Kumara 2-39)

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