Clinching low-scoring T20Is is mainly about showing calm and composure rather than expressing bravado. Sri Lanka all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva exhibited the same during their 133-run chase against India at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday.
Expressing his delight in helping Sri Lanka register a rare win, the 29-year-old admitted how tough it is facing India as opponents.
Sri Lanka were in a spot of bother at 55 for three in the 10th over when the technically sound Dhananjaya walked out to bat. Negotiating a difficult phase of spin bowling, he batted through the innings to help the hosts level the series 1-1 against a crisis-torn India.
After bagging the Player-of-the-Match award for his 34-ball unbeaten 40, Dhananjaya said the following:
“We were looking forward to this win. I am happy to contribute to a win for Sri Lanka. I always thought and knew it was about one big over. I decided to bat till the end. We held our nerves today. It is always tough against India.”
Starting with their Australian tour in October 2019, Sri Lanka have played 16 T20Is, and the win over India is only their second in this 21-month timeframe. The last time they won a T20I was against the West Indies in March 2021.
Sri Lanka’s chance to create history against India
With India’s leading players in England for the Test series, Shikhar Dhawan was entrusted with the responsibility of leading a young side for the Sri Lanka series. The team has now received a significant setback after Krunal Pandya tested positive. Eight other players who were in close contact with the all-rounder have been forcefully ruled out of the series.
With India struggling with balance as they have only four specialist batters available, Sri Lanka are on the brink of sealing their first-ever bilateral T20I series win over India.
The sides have played seven T20I series, with India winning six and one ending in a draw. The third and final T20I, which will also be the decider, will be played on Thursday.