2nd T20I: Axar Patel, Suryakumar half-centuries in vain as India lose to Sri Lanka by 16 runs

2nd T20I: Axar Patel, Suryakumar half-centuries in vain as India lose to Sri Lanka by 16 runs

Pune, January 5, 2023

A brilliant half-century by all-rounder Axar Patel and his blazing 91-run partnership with Suryakumar Yadav (51) went in vain as India failed to recover from early setbacks and lost to Sri Lanka by 16 runs in the second T20I of the three-match series at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium here on Thursday.

Opting to bat first, opener Kusal Mendis and skipper Dasun Shanaka blasted quick-fire half-centuries as Sri Lanka powered their way to 206/6 off their 20 overs.

Patel hammered 6 sixes and two boundaries in his brilliant 31-ball 65 and Yadav and Shivam Mavi (26 off 15) dragged India from a precarious position to a position where they needed 20 off the last six deliveries.

But in the end, the task was too stiff for the Gujarat batter who played some sensational shots including three sixes off successive deliveries in the 14th over. Dasun Shanaka got him out in the final over as India's hopes ended.

India looked in deep trouble after losing four wickets for 34 runs and it became 57/5 in the 10th over before Yadav and Patel came together for a 91-run partnership that had the 30,460 spectators rocking and cheering.

However, in the end, it proved too good to last as they were restricted to 190/8, falling short by 16 runs as Sri Lanka levelled the three-match series 1-1.

It looked like India's chase would fizzle out as they lost four wickets in the first five overs with only 35 runs on the board.

Ishan Kishan (2) was done in by a superb in-swinger by Rajitha as he swung at one pitched wide and the ball sneaked in to hit the stumps. Gill played a nothing-shot, trying to drive one that pitched outside off, edging behind to Mendis.

Debutant Rahul Tripathi faced an eventful five balls in the middle. He square drove Rajitha between point and cover for a four on the third ball of the second over but was struck on his helmet on the next ball, the delivery rearing up from short-of length and racing off for four leg-byes.

He was out to Madushanka on the first ball of the next over as the ball swung in from just outside off and took an edge off Tripathi's bat to Kusal Mendis behind the stumps.

And when skipper Hardik Pandya was out for 12, after a charmed stay at the wicket during which he struck a four (off Madushanka) and a six off Karunaratne, India were in deep trouble from which only Suryakumar Yadav could have saved them.

Suryakumar, who survived a clear run-out chance, brought out his customary 360-degree play and after Deepak Hooda was out for 9, found an able ally in Axar Patel as they brought up the hundred of the innings.

Patel hammered Wanindu Hasaranga for a hat-trick of sixes in the 14th over and with Suryakumar Yadav helping himself to a six, the over cost Sri Lanka 26 runs. They scored 15 runs off the next over -- thus ending up hitting 6 sixes in two overs as Axar Patel blazed his way to a half-century off 20 balls, hitting two fours and 6 sixes.

Suryakumar Yadav's fifty off 33 balls looked rather sedate but the carnage was too good to last as Yadav perished going for a big one off Madushanka, failing to pick the slower one and mis-hitting it to Dhananjay de Silva at long-on.

But with 57 needed off four overs and Yadav back in the dug-out, the task was quite stiff. Shivam Mavi struck Madushanka for 6-4-6 off the last three deliveries of the 18th over to bring the equation down to 33 off 12.

Earlier, Mendis hammered a 31-ball 52 and Shanaka raced to an unbeaten 56 off 22 balls, hitting the fastest fifty on this ground off 20 deliveries as Sri Lanka made merry against an Indian attack that struggled to make a mark.

After Mendis had given the visitors a good start by racing to his fifty off 27 deliveries on being asked to bat first, Shanaka went better as he blazed to a half-century off 20 balls -- both of them feasting on some ineffective medium-pace bowling.

Shanaka was totally dominant in the death overs and with Charith Asalanka hammering a 19-ball 37, Sri Lanka blasted 77 runs for the loss of two wickets in the last five overs, thus reaching the second-highest score on this ground.

For India, Umran Malik claimed 3-48 while Axar Patel took 2-24. Shivam Mavi, the hero of India's 2-run victory in the first match, conceded 53 runs without success in four overs while Arshdeep, who was brought in place of Harshal Patel, gave away 37 runs off two overs, sending down five no-balls in the process.

It was a poor performance by the Indians with the ball and barring Umran and Axar, other bowlers were quite ineffective.

Earlier, after a quiet first over sent down by Hardik Pandya, Arshdeep bowled a wild one, with three no-balls, and was carted around by Kusal Mendis for a four and six, conceding 19 runs in the over.

Mendis top-edged Pandya for a six over deep third-man, and treated himself to a four straight down the ground off a no-ball by Shivam Mavi, who was brought in as Arshdeep was struggling with his run-up. Sri Lanka were 55/0 at the end of the Power-play,

Mendis continued in the same vein. He first drove Mavi for a four past mid-on and then slog-swept Axar Patel for a maximum over deep mid-wicket. Another six off Umran Mailk brought him his half-century off just 27 deliveries.

But India pulled back things a bit and Yuzvendra Chahal gave them the much-needed breakthrough when he caught Mendis (52, 31b, 3x4, 4x6) LBW with a slider that cramped the batter for space. The field umpire was unmoved but the DRS ruled in favour of the bowler.

Umran Malik castled Bhanuka Rajapaksa (2) with a 147-kph thunderbolt and when debutant Rahul Tripathi brilliantly caught Nissanka near the boundary rope off Axar Patel, Sri Lanka were 96/3 in the 12th over.

Charith Asalanka blasted back-to-back sixes off Chahal over deep-midwicket as the boler continued to struggle and dropped short. He hammered Umran Malik for a six in the same area but the young J&K tearaway had the last laugh as he got Asalanka (37 off 19 balls) caught by Shubman Gill at deep mid-wicket boundary as the batter backed away, attempting to smack him over the rope.

Malik was on fire and uprooted the stumps with a 140kph delivery to send Wanindu Hasaranga back for wickets off successive balls.

Dasun Shanaka, who was caught by Suryakuamr Yadav off an Arshdeep no-ball, then hammered a few big ones to help Sri Lanka to a defendable total. He struck two fours and 6 sixes in all to lead his team from the front.

India had beaten Sri Lanka by two runs in the first ODI in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 206/6 in 20 overs (Kusal Mendis 52, Dasun Shanaka 56 not out, Charith Asalanka 37, Pathum Nissanka 33; Umran Malik 3-48, Axar Patel 2-24) beat India 190/8 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 51, Axar Patel 65, Shivam Mavi 26; Dasun Shanaka 2-4, Kasun Rajitha 2-22, Dilshan Madushanka 2-45) by 16 runs


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