India remains #1 in T20, thanks to Man of the Match and Series, R Ashwin

India remains #1 in T20, thanks to Man of the Match and Series, R Ashwin
He is not just R Ashwin, he is our Ashwin!

Visakhapatnam

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]L[/dropcap]ike a Phoenix, R Ashwin rises from the Ashes to become even stronger. Perhaps getting dropped after 2 lack luster performances in the first 2 ODIs in Australia (it must be mentioned that no bowler did well in that series, except for a cameo effort in the last ODI by Bumrah) really stung and Ashwin went back to work and has come back with a vengeance. Hope he carries this form into the World T20 championship, which is just around the corner and will be played in India.

India won the toss in the 3rd and deciding T20 and Dhoni had no qualms in putting Sri Lanka into bat. There was dampness on the pitch which Ashwin exploited to the fullest to get 2 wickets in his very first over. By the time he had bowled 3 overs, he had figures of 4 for 6. If Dhoni had persisted with him for another over, perhaps he could have gotten a five-for. This kind of pre-meditated bowling changes is what makes Dhoni an enigma as a captain. Perhaps Kohli would have.

The series win also enabled India remain No.1 in the T20 rankings.

Chasing a paltry target of 83 runs for a win, India lost just the wicket of right-hander Rohit Sharma (13) in the sixth over when their score was 29. Left-hander Shikhar (46) and Ajinkya Rahane (22) guided India home in 13.5 overs for a win with 37 balls to spare.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]shwin was named Man of the Match as well as the Man of the Series for his impressive form. Earlier, Ashwin ran through Sri Lanka’s top order to help India bowl out Sri Lanka for a mere 82 runs at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here.

Ashwin’s supreme display was backed by his team-mates as pacers Ashish Nehra (1/17), Jasprit Bumrah (1/10), left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (1/6) and part-timer Suresh Raina (2/11) all contributed to the Lankan debacle.

Sri Lanka’s batsmen could never get going with Dasun Shanaka (19) being their highest scorer. They were bowled out in the 18th of their allotted 20 overs.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]D[/dropcap]honi’s decision was justified by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who opened the bowling and struck twice in the very first over. Opener Niroshan Dickwella (1), in for the injured Chamara Kapugedera, was stumped on the third ball and his experienced partner Tillakaratne Dilshan (1) was trapped leg before wicket off the sixth ball to cap off a dream over by Ashwin.

Sri Lanka got rattled by the poor start, and their troubles worsened when skipper Dinesh Chandimal (8) skied an aggressive shot off Ashwin to be caught at mid-off to leave the visitors reeling at 12/3 in the third over.

Ashwin continued to torment the Lankans, picking up his and the team’s fourth wicket shortly thereafter, dismissing debutant Asela Gunaratne (4). Sri Lanka were tottering at 20/4 inside five overs.

Pacer Nehra joined in the act, clean bowling Milinda Siriwardana (4) in the next over.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]t 21/5 in the sixth over, Sri lanka were looking down the barrel. They struggled to score freely and kept losing wickets at regular intervals with Seekkuge Prasanna getting run out (9) and Dasun Shanaka (19) bowled by Jadeja.

From there on, it was always going to be difficult for the Islanders to post a decent total, and they ultimately folded for 82.

(With content from IANS)

Team PGurus

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