Team India registered a thumping victory over Sri Lanka in the opening game of their ongoing three-match T20I series in Colombo on Sunday. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, with his glaring quick bowling attacks, emerged as the Man of the Match. Kumar stole the show by scalping four wickets conceding only 22 runs.
India won the game by 38 runs, bundling up the tourists within 18.3 overs and taking a series lead of 1-0.
“I executed what I wanted to and I am satisfied,” Bhuvneshwar said at the post-match presentation. “I played ODIs after a long time but the execution is really important for me.”
After spending most part of the last couple of injury-laced years in rehabilitation and missing out on the wild action on the field, the Indian pacer is back with a bang. Bhuvneshwar Kumar played a pivotal role in clinching the victory for the team by dismissing an important wicket of opener Avishka Fernando (26), giving the team a major breakthrough in the eighth over. He also picked up the wickets of Chamika Karunaratne (3), Isuru Udana (1), and Dushmantha Chameera (1) in the later over of the innings, completely paralysing the batting line-up of the hosts after they lost their top and middle over batsmen, giving them no chance to bounce back.
“They were playing well, we knew our spinners will do the job on that wicket. Bhuvi bowled well, so was KP (Krunal Pandya). Everyone stood up and even Varun too playing his first match did well giving a few runs and got the wicket,” Shikhar Dhawan said praising the team’s performance in the presentation.
Opening the batting, team India set up a decent target of 165 runs, losing five wickets. SuryaKumar Yadav continued to weave magic with the bat in this game as well, smashing a beautiful fifty off 34 balls. After opener Prithvi Shaw was dismissed for a golden duck, captain Shikhar Dhawan picked up the momentum in the game and contributed a much needed 46 runs. Playing responsibly, the skipper put up a 51-run partnership with Sanju Samson, who contributed 27 runs for the cause while youngster Ishan Kishan remained unbeaten at 20 runs.
However, it was the bowlers who outshined the batting lineup of the visitors. While Sri Lanka had a promising start to the innings in the powerplay, they gradually and steadily started succumbing to the bowling attacks of the tourists. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar scalped four wickets, Deepak Chahar picked up two wickets conceding 24 runs. Apart from them, every bowler, including Krunal Pandya, Yujvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, and Varun Chakravarthy picked up one wicket each, restricting them at 126 runs.
The second and third matches of the series will take place July 27 and July 29, respectively at the R Premadasa Stadium.