It's all to play for in the final game after Sri Lanka restored parity in the three-match T20I series with a four-wicket win.
Four players - Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Chetan Sakariya and Nitish Rana - debuted for India in the second T20I. Put in to bat first, India understandably started cautiously given their thin batting lineup for the game, putting up 45/0 in the Powerplay.
Skipper Dasun Shanaka (1/14) brought himself on in the seventh over and broke through for Sri Lanka by removing Gaikwad for 21. Padikkal joined Dhawan (40) at the crease and the two southpaws put together a 36-run stand before the skipper missed a slog as Akila Dananjaya (2/29) hit timber.
Padikkal (29) played a great reverse sweep for a four off Wanindu Hasaranga (1/30) in the 15th over but was bowled off the very next ball. Dananjaya got his second wicket of the game by scalping Sanju Samson, who didn't look very comfortable during his 13-ball 7 on a sluggish Premadasa track.
India managed to add 25 runs in the last three overs to take the total to 132/5. Apart from the first six overs, the Sri Lankan bowlers were on top of their game, making very good use of the spinning track and long boundaries to restrict the Indian batting lineup.
A disciplined effort with the ball from Sri Lanka restricts India to 132/5 in 20 overs.— ICC (@ICC) July 28, 2021
On a slow track, do the visitors have enough runs to make a game of it? 👀#SLvIND | 🗒 https://t.co/9JvOENyynr pic.twitter.com/GLAbWeUYoC
Chasing 133, Sri Lanka lost Avishka Fernando (11) in the third over to a tremendous catch on the boundary by Rahul Chahar off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/21) and could only manage to go at run-a-ball in the Powerplay.
Playing just his second T20I, Varun Chakravarthy (1/18) foxed Sadeera Samarawickrama (8) with a googly. Kuldeep Yadav (2/30) from the other end was wreaking havoc as well, dismissing Shanaka (3) and Minod Bhanuka (36) in consecutive overs as Sri Lanka found themselves at 68/4 by the end of the 12th.
Hasaranga and Dhananjaya de Silva then got together and struck a crucial 28-run stand from just 19 balls to take Sri Lanka closer to victory before Chahar (1/27) got India the crucial wicket of Hasaranga (15) with the last ball of his spell. India kept a lid on scoring in the next three overs, giving away just 19 runs and dismissing debutant Ramesh Mendis (2).
Needing 20 off the last two overs, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/21) was trusted with the penultimate over but a high full-toss off proved to the turning point of the game as Chamika Karunaratne (12*) dispatched it for a six. It was the only boundary Bhuvneshwar conceded from his four overs.
Dhananjaya de Silva's unbeaten 40 helps Sri Lanka clinch a four-wicket win in the second #SLvIND T20I 👏— ICC (@ICC) July 28, 2021
The series is poised at 1-1 heading into the decider tomorrow!
🗒 https://t.co/bEFZZmVeqf pic.twitter.com/Yh8MGb5h9E
With debutant Sakariya left with just eight runs to defend, Sri Lanka got home without any more hiccups to draw the series 1-1.
Dhananjaya de Silva was awarded the Player of the Match for his unbeaten 40.
The two teams will next clash on 29 July in the series decider at Colombo.
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