That concludes the proceedings for this match. The action now moves to Rajkot for the decider. It's on Saturday, the 7th of January, at 7 pm IST (1.30 pm GMT). Do join us early for the build-up. Until then, it's goodbye and cheers!
Dasun Shanaka, the captain of Sri Lanka, is also the Player of the Match! Starts by admitting that they could have done better in the middle phase as the game was well set by the openers. On dew being a factor for India's comeback, Dasun replies that it's not the dew factor and it was the skill of the Indian batters. Praises Axar Patel and Suryakumar Yadav for taking the game away for a brief period. Tells that it's good to defend a total like this, especially against a team like India.
Hardik Pandya, the Indian skipper, starts by admitting that they were poor in both the Powerplays. Says that they made basic errors that they should not at this level. Mentions that everyone knows what they have done wrong and it's a learning phase for them. Calls it a cracker of a game and praises the knocks of Axar Patel, Suryakumar Yadav and Shivam Mavi. Wants his team to focus on doing the basics right. Adds that no balls are something you can control and these are basic errors the bowlers should not be making. Shares that Rahul Tripathi is very accustomed to batting at number 3 and they want to give someone new to the team a role they are comfortable with.
Stay tuned for the presentation...
Kasun Rajitha comes up for a quick word. Says that he loves this ground and adds that they knew that there will be swing under lights. Tells that they got worried during the partnership between Axar Patel and Suryakumar Yadav as the Lankan bowlers didn't do the basics right. He is happy that they closed the game when it mattered the most.
India will look back at this game with a lot of remorse for the way they bowled but a lot of appreciation for the way they put up a fight with the bat. Bowling seven no balls is unacceptable and that in a way allowed Sri Lanka the rhythm to finish strongly. The chase was very much neck and neck and India were a shade ahead at the start of the final five overs but the pressure of the asking rate got the better of them. Still, full marks to them for making this a thrilling contest.
The Sri Lankan bowling was very skilful and disciplined in the Powerplay. They broke the back of the Indian batting very early. Dilshan Madushanka and Kasun Rajitha were exceptional with the new ball and the latter finished with figures of 4-0-22-2 in this high-scoring humdinger. Really commendable. The other bowlers went for aplenty and that was the reason why Dasun Shanaka decided to bowl the last over himself. He did it with the bat earlier, helping his team to gather 20 runs off the final over and then he stepped up to defend those runs. Captain leading from the front!
After losing four wickets inside the Powerplay, you don't win many games. India were further reduced to 57 for 5 and it appeared to be an early finish. But as mentioned earlier, after the halfway mark, they stepped on the gas. Not to forget, the carnage started after the run-out chance of Axar Patel was missed on 8. Patel unleashed after that event and his onslaught shell-shocked the Lankan team. Suryakumar Yadav was not at his usual best but had he lasted for another over or two, India could have nailed the chase. Towards the end, Shivam Mavi also showed his ball-hitting prowess but that was not enough.
What an entertainer! Sri Lanka were roaring at one stage and it looked like a straightforward win for them but the pair of Suryakumar Yadav and Axar Patel reignited hopes in the Indian camp and took it deep. Their association (91 off 40 balls) scared the Lankan Lions but eventually, the touring team secured the win and levelled the series 1-1.
In over# 20
Dasun Shanaka 4/2(1)
OUT! TAKEN! Dasun Shanaka gets another wicket! He bowls another full toss, on off, Shivam Mavi miscues his shot in the air and Maheesh Theekshana at extra cover backtracks to take the catch. SRI LANKA WIN BY 16 RUNS!
Overpitched, on off, Shivam Mavi lofts it towards long off, but denies the single.
Full and on middle, Umran Malik lofts it over the bowler's head for a single.
Who will come in next? It's Umran Malik.
OUT! TAKEN! Dasun Shanaka has done it for Sri Lanka! Axar Patel misses out there. This is a high full toss, outside off, Axar Patel smashes it towards the long off fence where Chamika Karunaratne runs to his right and takes a splendid catch. The on-field umpire gets it checked for the high-waist full toss but it's fine and the catch is also clean. With that, India's hopes of getting a win diminish.
Full again and on off, Axar Patel drives it wide of deep cover and comes back for the second run.
Fuller one and on off, Shivam Mavi forces it towards long off for just a run. 20 runs needed in 5 balls now with Axar Patel on strike.
Dasun Shanaka has decided to bowl the last over himself. India need 21.