LvIND 1st T20I, Nidahas Trophy: Shikhar Dhawan’s 90 propels visitors to 174 in Colombo – India got to 174/5 thanks to a blistering knock by Shikhar Dhawan in the first T20I of the Nidahas Trophy on Tuesday.
Dhawan’s 90 off 49 helped the visitors recover after a horrid start at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The opener’s knock was studded with six fours and as many sixes.
Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and chose to field first. His decision seemed to be vindicated as India lost Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina inside the first two overs with just 9 on the board.
Rohit, leading the side in the absence of Virat Kohli, continued his poor form with the bat from the tour of South Africa. The right-hander tried to clear the in-field but was caught out after a brilliant effort from Jeevan Mendis.
Raina was the next to make his way back to the pavilion. The left-hander got clean-bowled to what was a full-toss by Nuwan Pradeep.
Dhawan then got together to stitch a valuable partnership with Manish Pandey for the third wicket. The duo found the boundary regularly and added 93 runs. Pandey’s 37 off 35 was the operfect foil to Dhawan’s all-out strokeplay.
A late cameo of a run a ball 23 from keeper-bat Rishabh Pant propelled to what was a par score at the Premadasa under lights.
Uncapped Tamil Nadu player Vijay Shankar has been handed his first T20I cap. For India, Rohit Sharma will lead the side in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, who along with MS Dhoni has been rested for the series.
For Sri Lanka, Dinesh Chandimal will lead in the absence of Angelo Mathews, who has been ruled out of the tournament due to a calf injury.
Heavy security forces have been deployed outside the stadium in Colombo, following the violence against the minority Muslim community in Kandy district which claimed two lives. Dozens of people have been arrested so far in the anti-Muslim riots.
The Board of Cricket for Control in India (BCCI) and its acting president C.K. Khanna have stated that the Kandy incident will not hamper the fixture. The Sri Lankan government earlier in the day imposed a state of emergency for 10 days to control law and order in the country.
A curfew was reimposed on Monday in two police divisions of Kandy district till Wednesday morning following the tense situation. Several houses and business establishments in the district, belonging to minority Muslim community, were burnt on Monday while the body of a young man was found inside a burnt house on Tuesday.
The police have said that the special security arrangements put in place in the areas will continue and the country’s Special Task Force (STF) has been deployed to maintain peace.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jayadev Undakat and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal (c), Kusal Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera and Nuwan Pradeep.
(Inputs from ANI)