Shreyas Iyer keeps India's winning streak alive, Men in Blue win T20I series vs Sri Lanka Photograph:( AFP )
With this win, India's best-ever winning streak in the format has now stretched to 11. Among Test-playing nations, Afghanistan top the list holding the first two spots. Now, India have joined the Afghans in the second position with 11 successive wins.
Rohit Sharma-led Team India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets to win the second and penultimate T20I, in Dharamshala, on Saturday evening (February 26) and clinch the series with an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Opting to bowl first, Rohit-led India bowlers didn't have an easy ride versus the Islanders. Pathum Nissanka, who fell for a golden duck in the series opener, and Danushka Gunathilaka's opening stand (67 runs) ensured a good start for the visitors. While they did survive some close calls initially, the duo found their rhythm as the innings progressed. Against the run of play, Ravindra Jadeja struck to remove Gunathilaka for 38.
When it seemed Indian bowlers had managed to restrict the Lankans, skipper Dasun Shanaka's 19-ball 47 and Nissanka's calculative and well-compiled 53-ball 75 propelled SL to 183-5. Among Indian bowlers, Jadeja, Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar Kumar remained expensive.
In reply, India's chase started with Rohit departing for 1. Ishan Kishan also failed to get going to be dismissed for cheap. The onus, this, shifted on in-form Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson. While Samson took some time before launching some biggies, Iyer played a sensational inning -- with a flurry of boundaries at regular intervals along with smart rotation of strike.
While India lost Samson, courtesy a blinder by B Fernando, Jadeja-Iyer completed the formalities as Lankans continued to be sloppy on the field and gave plenty of boundary-balls. Jadeja dominated the unbroken fourth-wicket stand with Iyer (74 not out) to return with an 18-ball 45* (at a whopping strike-rate of 250).
With this win, India's best-ever winning streak in the format has now stretched to 11. Among Test-playing nations, Afghanistan top the list holding the first two spots. Now, India have joined the Afghans in the second position with 11 successive wins. If India inflict a clean sweep versus the Sri Lankans, they will come at par with Afghanistan at the top spot (12).