After a thumping 4-1 win in the ODI series, India continued their dominance over Sri Lanka as they thrashed the hosts by 39 runs in the one-off T20 match at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Chasing a modest 156, Sri Lanka were bundled out for just 116 conceding an easy victory to the visitors.
After blazing knock by in-form Virat Kohli guided India to 155/3, left arm pacer Irfan Pathan tore apart Sri Lankan top order while Ashok Dinda got rid of the tailenders to secure win for their team.
Pathan dismissed Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardene in quick succession to reduce 35/3 in five overs.
Pathan bowled out Dilshan (0) in the first over and then sent back Tharanga (5) in the third to reduce Sri Lanka to 18/2.
Jayawardene tried to rescue his side with some fiery strokes but Pathan struck again in the fifth over to end his challenge.
R Ashwin gave Sri Lanka fourth blow at the score of 68. On the second delivery of the 10th over, Ashwin bowled out Lahiru Thirimanne.
Angelo Mathews tried to rescue his side from the collapse but Ashok Dinda didn’t let him do that. Dinda then wrapped up Sri Lanka tail and finished with a figure of 4/19.
Earlier, Kohli, who is in the form of his life, smashed his way to a 48-ball 68 and shared a couple of crucial partnerships, including 74 runs with Ajinkya Rahane (21) and 48 with Suresh Raina (34 no, 3×4, 1×6) for the second and third wickets respectively.
Kohli’s innings consisted of 11 boundaries and a six. However, India couldn’t accelerate much towards the end, managing only 84 runs in the last 10 overs, with a meagre 35 coming off the last five.
Put in to bat, Gautam Gambhir (6) got a reprieve when his mistimed pull-shot was dropped at deep mid-wicket by Shaminda Eranga. However, the rookie pacer made amends as he bowled the senior opener, who again went for an identical shot only to see his stumps pegged back.
Kohli can do no wrong these days and he put the Lankans on the back foot with a flurry of fours. A couple off Mathews was followed by three in the second over of Eranga.
Among the shots Kohli hit, a cover drive off Mathews and a shot through point region were the stand-out ones.
The Delhi lad was off the blocks in a flash but the same can’t be said about Rahane who was finding it difficult to score runs on a track where the ball was doing a bit.
Rahane finally got something going his way as he hit Thisara Perera over extra cover for a big six before offering a simple return catch to Mendis. Kohli finally completed his maiden T20I half-century off 32 balls when he hit left-arm spinner Rangana Herath over extra-cover for a boundary.
The shot of the innings, however, was a six by Kohli off leggie Mendis’ bowling. Mendis fired it down leg-side as the batsmen came down the track. Kohli maintained perfect balance as he converted it into an overpitched delivery.
He finally holed out in the deep off Eranga’s bowling, when his cross-batted shot failed to clear the deep mid-wicket fielder. Kohli’s departure slowed down things as the Lankan bowlers were successful in bowling a number of dot balls.
Raina, who has been an effective T20 player, hit some crisp shots in between those dot balls, including a lofted six, as India crossed 150 in the final over.