Ranchi: Incisive spell of bowling from Ravichandran Ashwin (3/14) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/24), after good batting display by Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, guided India to a convincing 69-run victory over Sri Lanka in the second Twenty20 international and level the three-match series played at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday.
The third and final match of the series will be played in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. Chasing 197, Sri Lanka, who lost their three wickets for just 16 runs, couldn’t recover from the bad start as their innings ended at 127/9 in 20 overs.
Defending 196, off-spinner Ashwin gave India perfect start as he picked up the wicket of veteran Tillakratne Dilshan in the first legitimate delivery of the innings after bowling two wides. Dhoni stumped Dilshan, who jumped out of the crease to play Ashwin, in empathic fashion.
Ashwin’s new-ball partner left-arm seamer Nehra too joined the party after he dismissed Seekkuge Prasanna on his first ball of the over before scalping other opener Danushka Gunathilaka in his next over as Sri Lanka were struggling at 21/3 after four overs in their chase of 197.
Chamara Kapugedera (32) and captain Dinesh Chandimal (31) stitched a quick 52-run stand for the fourth wicket before Jadeja got rid of them in successive balls to dash all their hopes of a Sri Lankan comeback.
Earlier, fine knocks by openers Rohit (43) and Shikhar Dhawan (51) and some late burst by Suresh Raina (30) and Hardik Pandya (27) guided India to a mammoth total of 196/6 against Sri Lanka.
India were well on course of crossing 200-run mark but a fine hat-trick by Thisara Perera (3/33) in the penultimate over of the innings put the much-needed brakes in Indian run-scoring spree.