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Thakur, Pandey take India to top position in Nidahas Trophy

Manish Pandey scored an unbeaten 42 in the chase
Manish Pandey scored an unbeaten 42 in the chase

India 153-4 (Pandey 42no) beat
Sri Lanka 152-9 (Mendis 55) by six wickets
4th Twenty20 International, Nidahas Trophy, Colombo

Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar shared six wickets between them as India restricted Sri Lanka to 152 for nine and later chased down the target with six wickets and nine deliveries to spare in Colombo to reach the pole position in the Nidahas Trophy.

With rain delaying the proceedings, the toss was rescheduled at 20:05 local time and the game was set to begin 15 minutes later, making it a 19-over encounter.

India won the toss and decided to bowl first. Danushka Gunathilaka (17) gave a blistering start to the innings with his seven-ball knock as Sri Lanka raced to 24 for naught in two overs. Thakur (4-27) in his first legal delivery in the game had Gunathilaka caught at mid-wicket where Suresh Raina pulled out a stunner.

In the next over, Sundar (2-21) castled the dangerous Kusal Perera (3) but Kusal Mendis (55) helped the innings get back on track scoring three boundaries and two sixes to take the home side to 94 for two at the halfway mark.

Upul Tharanga (22) struggled to get going and his innings did pull down the run-rate a bit and the pressure eventually got the better of him as he was castled by Vijay Shankar (1-30). Thisara Perera (15) announced his arrival with two sixes in the first two deliveries he faced while Mendis completed his third fifty in five games off 31 deliveries.

Nevertheless, India controlled the final five overs exceedingly as they conceded just 32 runs and picked four wickets in it to restrict Sri Lanka to 152 for nine in the 20 overs. Thakur was the pick of the Indian bowlers with a four-wicket haul while Sundar impressed with two wickets as well.

Rohit Sharma (11) started the chase positively with a six and a four in the first over but the introduction of Akila Dananjaya (2-19) changed the complexion of the game. He snared but Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan (8) in his first two overs but Suresh Raina (27) with two boundaries and a six helped India to 50 for two in the powerplay.

Just as India were coasting away in the chase, their momentum was dented a bit with Raina and Lokesh Rahul (18) dismissed with the latter being a hitwicket victim. At the halfway mark, India were 85 for four.

However, Sri Lanka could not manage any more success in the game with Pandey (42 not out) and Dinesh Karthik (39 not out) steering them to the target with nine deliveries to spare.

The win has taken India to the top position in the table with Thakur winning the player of the match award.

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