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Dhoni’s men shine at his home ground


The second match of Paytm T20 series was played at Ranchi. The home ground of captain cool MS Dhoni. This second match was played after a shocking defeat by inexperienced Lankan Tigers in Pune.

That was a green track in Pune where Indian batsmen couldn’t cope with Lankan bowlers. But here in Ranchi the pitch was flat and dry it was a batting paradise. Sri Lanka won the toss second time in a row, they elected to bowl first.

As this decision didn’t go in their favour as the Indian openers Rohit and dhawan give the quick and perfect start that the host wanted. The openers played aggressive cricket, they played their shots all over the ground. It was only the sixth over when 75 runs was on the scoreboard. Rohit and Dhawan were batting freely with ease. In this 75 run partnership Rohit was the perfectly playing his supporting role as Dhawan took on the inexperienced Lankan bowling attack.

Dhawan reached his maiden twenty20 international fifty in just 21 balls. This quick fire fifty-one runs was Dhawan’s highest score in twenty20 internationals. Dhawan gave his wicket away in quest of quick runs to Chameera. Then came Rahane at no.3. He and Rohit Sharma rebuild India.

Both were playing carefully hitting boundaries and sixes to bad balls bold by the Lankan bowlers. This Ranchi pitch was difficult and they were not playing rash shots. There was sudden drop in the run rate after fall of Dhawan’s wicket but Rohit and Rahane were playing with good temperament. 100 was up for India in just 11th over.

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It was a good going. They were setting a platform to score big runs. Rohit Sharma too out to brilliant caught and bold of Chameera after playing useful hand of 43 runs in 36 balls. The Lankan broke the partnership and got the break through. Soon after Rohit was dismissed Rahane also gave his wicket away. He couldn’t pull the short ball as would have liked to, he gave simple and straight catch to Dilshan, who placed at cover.

After Rahane’s wicket everyone was waiting home boy Dhoni or yuvraj to come and bat at no.4 but Dhoni had his own idea. He played a master stoke by sending Hardik Pandya with Suresh Raina. Actually, Dhoni took a gamble by sending Hardik before himself and Yuvraj Singh. He must be thanking god right now because this gamble of sending Hardik ahead of experienced Yuvraj and Dhoni really paid off well.

Both Raina and Hardik batted really well. One mite taught India would get only 165 to 170 runs only because of this partnership India went past of the average score of 189. Both the youngsters batted sensibly. They were hitting boundaries and sixes with ease but they also ran well between the wickets well. They converted one into twos by putting pressure on the fielder. Because of this partnership India got posted a total above 190.

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Hardik and Raina both got out in a same over he followed by Yuvraj in very next ball these wickets in back to back balls gave Thisara Perera his first hat-trick in T20s. Even though Perera took his hatrick India posted a huge total of 196 for 6 in 20 overs.

The Sri Lankan chase didn’t start off well. After a first ball wide, Sri Lanka lost Dilshan quickly. Ravi Ashwin got this wicket with help of skipper Dhoni. He was lighting quick behind the stumps. Dilshan was out on golden duck.

Then Nehra joint Ashwin. He picked up two wickets in the third over. He picked up the wickets of Seekkuge Prasanna for only one run and Danushka Gunathilaka for two runs.

Sri Lanka was in a spot of bother. The two experienced players rebuild Sri Lanka from 21 for 3. The duo shared a much-needed partnership to take their team out of trouble. This pair was going well until Ravindra Jadeja broke this partnership and gave India a much-needed break through. Jadeja took two wickets in one over first Kapugethra and then the skipper Chandimal.

It was good running from Hardik Pandya to dismiss Kapugethra and Dhoni was again too quick behind the stumps to dismiss Dinesh Chandimal.

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Then the visitors could not play as they wanted to. The big shots were needed. Dasun Shanaka played a little entertain cameo of 27 runs but that was not enough. Ravi Ashwin quickly picked up Dasun Shanaka as he was caught by Raina.

Thisara Perera couldn’t trouble the scorers, he was out on 0. At the last Jasprit Bumrah took first Sachithra Senanayake and second Dushmantha Chameera,

This was the highlights of Sri Lankan innings started with duck and ended with. Only 2 contributors of the Lankan innings the captain Chandimal and Kapugethra, rest was none.

India defeated Sri Lanka by 69 and levelled the series to 1 all.

All to play for the next match at Vizag on 14th Feb Sunday.

Man of the match – Shikhar Dhawan

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