India and Sri Lanka clashed against each other in the first of the three-match T20 series on Tuesday, January 3 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Indian team defended the target of 163 runs in a thrilling contest. However, World No.1 spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, yet again proved his mettle in the shortest format of the game as he conceded just 22 runs in his four overs and picked one wicket in the 1st T20I.
Former Sri Lankan all-rounder Farveez Maharoof stated that most of the Indian batters struggled to pick leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga’s variations.
“I don’t think most of the Indian players pick Hasaranga or are comfortable playing against him, unless he bowls a bad delivery. I don’t think players like Sanju Samson pick him. Even Hardik Pandya is not that confident to face him when it’s on a good length, I reckon Dasun Shanaka was very smart, the way he used Hasaranga. They did their homework very well,” he added.” said Maharoof.
Dasun Shanka's brilliant knock went into vein
At the halfway stage, it looked like India were well under par but they started well with the ball, restricting Sri Lanka to 35 for 2 in the powerplay. Dasun Shanaka revived the chase in the company of Hasaranga and Karunaratne but couldn’t execute it at the end and lost the match by 2 runs.
Earlier, Sri Lanka opted to bowl first after winning the toss. India started well with Ishan Kishan taking 17 off the first over but then Sri Lanka fought back as the batters kept losing wickets in short intervals.
Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel got together at 94/5 and their 68-run stand off 36 balls gave the hosts a total to bowl at. Hooda was brilliant as he put away the bad balls and Axar too got the boundaries away despite playing a few dots.
Sri Lanka would be gutted as they could have paced the chase better and waited for the dew to play its part, but the batters threw their wickets away and left the lower order with too much to do. India took a 1-0 lead, as a result of that. The second match is slated to be held in Pune on Thursday.