Debutant Mavi shines in India’s double victory over Sri Lanka

Shivam Mavi made a dream debut with a relentless display of fast-bowling as his four-wicket haul made all the difference in India’s narrow two-run victory over a spirited Sri Lanka in the first T20I here on Tuesday.

Indian batsmen found the Sri Lankan spinners hard to put away before Deepak Hooda (41 off 23) and Axar Patel (31 off 20) took the hosts to 162 for five.

The Sri Lankans certainly had the firepower to chase 163, but Mavi’s attacks in the front and back of the innings tipped the game in favor of the home side. The game went to the wire with spinner Axar Patel managing to defend for 13 points in the final over. Mavi finished with a jealous figure of four for 22 in four overs.

The fighting battles of skipper Dasun Shanaka (45 from 27) and Chamika Karunaratne (23 not out from 16) were in vain as Sri Lanka finished 160 all out in 20 overs.

This is India’s lowest overall defense at this stadium.

Skipper Hardik Pandya decided to bowl the first over and the pressure he created helped debutant Mavi on the other side. Hardik bowled full tilt and barely gave anything away, conceding just 12 runs in his three-over spell.

Mavi’s moment to cherish came in his first over when he showed remarkable composure to strike back after being hit for two fours by Kusal Mendis.

Pathum Nissanka already had a life in the first left of Hardik and had no idea of ​​Mavi’s beauty of a delivery coming back inside to shatter the stumps.

Also in his second over, Mavi got some fours hit before catching Dhanajaya de Silva halfway through.

It became 47 for three in the eighth over when Ishan Kishan took a brilliant backward catch after Charith Asalanka mistimed a pull on Umran Malik.

Pacer Harshal Patel got lucky on his first wicket as a dangerous looking Mendis found the fielder with a deep run before losing Bhanuka Rajapaksa with a slower ball to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 68 for five in the 11th over. Hardik had to leave the field momentarily after he caught Rajapaksa’s flyout.

Hasaranga and skipper Shanaka made the game interesting with a quickfire 40-run stance off 23 balls. Hasaranga put the pressure back on the Indians by beating Yuzvendra Chahal for back-to-back sixes over mid-wicket, reducing the equation to a very doable 56 runs off 36 balls.

Mavi was brought back to break the impending partnership and he did so by getting Hasaranga caught half way through. Shanaka single-handedly held Sri Lanka in the game before falling over to Umran in the 17th.

The match somehow went to the last and Chamika Karunratne provided a glimmer of hope for the visitors. With Hardik unable to bowl his fourth over after falling onto the field, Axar was brought in to defend 13 in the last over.

Earlier, Hooda and Axar shared an unbeaten stand of 68 runs with 38 balls for the sixth wicket after India found themselves on a shaky 94 for five at the high-scoring Wankhede Stadium.

Kishan (37 out of 29) played his first international innings since the double hundred in Bangladesh and went ballistic in the first over himself for 17 runs.

Looking for some swing, Kasun Rajitha with his right arm tossed it up and Kishan quickly tossed it over a deep square leg for a huge six. Then a slower ball was hit to the ground four times before Kishan pulled Rajitha to another boundary.

Shubman Gill (7), who made his T20 debut with Mavi, started his innings with a wonderful cover driver off Dilshan Madhushanka.

Shanaka introduced spin in the third over through Maheesh Theekshana and he delivered with Gill’s wicket who missed a straighter from the mystery spinner and got stuck in front of the stumps. Hoping against hope, Gill squandered a review in the process.

India’s top T20 batsman Suryakumar Yadav (7) also got a cheap kill, leaving the hosts at 41 for two in the power play. Surya played his first match in front of his home crowd and went for his usual scoop shot but missed it and was caught by Bhanuka Rajapaksa on Chamika Karunaratne in short order.

Sanum Samson (5) missed another chance by mistimed a hit on Dhananjaya de Silva.

The spinners stopped the flow of runs in the middle overs with India collecting just 26 in overs 10-15 with the loss of Kishan and skipper Hardik Pandya (29 from 27), who was unable to find his range after starting with a pair of excellent stokes on the outside.

Hooda entered at number six and tried to change the course of the innings with back-to-back sixes over deep midwicket at Theekshana. He targeted the same area against Hasaranga in the next over and maxed him out.

He had good support from Axar as the duo helped India get to a fight total.

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