Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka recorded Sri Lanka’s fastest T20I fifty during the Pune T20I, which ultimately helped them end their almost seven-year-long wait for a T20I win in India.
While Sri Lanka can’t afford another defeat in this three-match away T20I series as they were already 1-0 behind in the series before the second game at Pune on Thursday (5th January) evening, the visitors were sent to bat first. They had a strong start with an 80-run partnership for the opening wicket in less than nine overs (Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis).
However, India returned to the game with quick wickets as Sri Lanka were struggling at 138/6 in 16 overs. But the visiting skipper Dasun Shanaka batted incredibly to put his team in the front seat at the end of the innings.
Dasun Shanaka scored a 20-ball half-century
Shanaka completed his fifth T20I half-century in just 20 balls, as it also broke Sri Lanka’s previous joint record for the fastest T20I half-century (21 balls by Mahela Jayewardene and Kumar Sangakkara). He ultimately scored 56 not out off 22 balls (2 fours and 6 sixes) as his 68-run partnership with Chamika Karunaratne (11*) for the unbroken seventh wicket guided Sri Lanka to set up their first batting total of 206/6 (20 overs).
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In reply, India lost their four wickets inside the powerplay. Lately, India fought back in that chasing, thanks to Suryakumar Yadav (51 off 36 balls), Axar Patel (65 off 31 balls) and Shivam Mavi (26 off 15 balls). However, the hosts finally scored 190/8 in 20 overs as Sri Lanka won by 16 runs.
That win helped Sri Lanka to equalize the series by 1-1 with one match to go on 7th January. It was also Sri Lanka’s first T20I win in India since their previous T20I victory in this country on 17th March 2016 against Afghanistan at Eden Gardens (in the ICC World T20 2016). In between this period, Sri Lanka failed to win 13 T20I matches in India (12 defeats and one no result).
On the other hand, after the 2016 Pune T20I win against India (9th February 2016), Sri Lanka had to wait for 13 T20Is to beat the hosts India again. During this period, the Lankan team experienced 11 defeats and one no result inT20Is against the hosts India.
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