India beat SL to take an unassailable 2-0 lead

AGENCIES INDORE, 22nd Dec:

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal took 7 wickets between them as India beat Sri Lanka by 88 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Friday.

Chasing a tough 261-run target, Sri Lanka got off to a brisk start but Jaydev Unadkat had Niroshan Dickwella caught by Hardik Pandya at deep mid-wicket for the first breakthrough.

But a 109-run stand up between Kusal Perera and Upul Tharanga off just 48 balls kept Sri Lanka in the hunt.

A flurry of wickets followed as the Indian spin twins finally got some reward. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal both took three wickets each in an over as Sri Lanka collapsed dramatically losing 8 wickets in 25 balls and were bundled out for 172/9 in 17.2 overs. An injured Angelo Mathews did not come out to bat.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma bulldozed the Sri Lankan attack with a whirlwind record-equalling 35-ball century and powered India to a colossal 260/5. Rohit equalled South African David Miller's record of 35-ball century, en route to a coruscating knock of 118, his second T20 hundred and the best by an Indian in this format.

In an incredible display of hitting, rather punishing for the bowlers, the Indian captain smashed 12 fours and 10 sixes during his 43-ball stay at the crease. It was not power-hitting but sheer elegance which came with remarkable ease. There was never a dull moment till the time Rohit was at the crease as he pulled, cut and drove the clueless Lankan bowlers at will.

In the process he raised a 165-run stand for the first wicket, the highest for India, with KL Rahul, who scored 89 off 49 balls.

India's total is joint second highest in T20Is with only Australia's 263/3 against Sri Lanka being a better effort. Sri Lanka had scored 260/6 against Kenya at Johannesburg in 2007.


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