A batting-stricken team India was completely undone by Sri Lanka’s stiffened bowling line-up. With only five batters, India had performed far better in the second T20I. But in the third, the young batters had no clue against Wanindu Hasaranga. India were five down for a score of less than 40. They crawled to a score of 81 after batting the full quota of 20 overs.
It wasn’t easy going for the Sri Lankan batsmen as well. They took 14.3 overs and lost three wickets to attain the target. It was a game of lows and there were few records that were set and here is the list of those:
Most debutants in a series
In the first T20I, Prithvi Shaw and Varun Chakravarthy made their debuts. But, Krunal Pandya’s contraction to COVID-19 saw four other debutants in the second T20I as nine players were isolated. In the third T20I, Sandeep Warrier became the seventh player to be handed a cap in this series. Apart from the first T20I series in 2006, the only two series in which India made as many changes were in the 2007 T20 World Cup and India’s tour to Zimbabwe in 2016.
The first captain to a golden duck
Shikhar Dhawan had a great start to his captaincy career by winning the ODI series. However, in the two matches in which his experience was required the most, Dhawan failed to deliver. In the third T20I, Dhawan became the first ever Indian captain to suffer a golden duck in T20Is. An unsuitable end to a near successful debut series as captain.
Lowest score after 10 overs
Among India’s top five batsmen in the second and the third T20I, Dhawan was the only player with more than 15 matches under his belt. The other one with a bit of experience was Sanju Samson, but he failed as well. Following a golden duck for Dhawan, Samson as well suffered a three-ball duck. India were five down for 36, which is their second lowest score after the fall by five wickets. Among the top five batsmen, Ruturaj Gaikwad was the only batsmen with double digit scores. More to their agony, India scored only 39 runs in the first 10 overs, their lowest in a completed T20I match.
The best spell against India
The biggest thorn in India’s way has been Hasaranga this series. In the second T20I as well, he was the difference and in the third, his match winning effort led to a win for Sri Lanka. His spell of four for nine runs is the best for a bowler against India in T20Is. In addition, his economy of 2.3 in this spell is also the best by a bowler who has bowled at least three overs in an innings against India in T20Is.
24th birthday, celebrating it with Player of the match and the Player of the series award. There can’t be a bigger gift than this for a cricketer. Hasaranga, delivered a magical spell on his birthday to propel Sri Lanka to a win. He became the second bowler in T20Is to bag four wicket-haul on birthday and had the best spell among the two. Imran Tahir in 2014 is the other with a four-wicket haul on birthday.
Second lowest score
A menacing spinner against a young Indian batting line-up was too much to handle. After losing the top five within 40 runs, it was evident that India’s chance of scoring 120 also was bleak. Bhuvneshwar Kumar at four and followed by Kuldeep Yadav and other bowlers, India had to bat out the overs and score as much as possible. But, after batting full 20 overs, they could only score 81, which is the second lowest score after batting full 20 overs among the Test playing nations. This is also India’s third lowest score in T20I and lowest against Sri Lanka
No doubt the grounds are bigger in Colombo, but nowadays, batsmen back themselves to clear the field. However, today was an odd day for both sides. In India’s total of 81/8, there were zero sixes, which was the first instance of India batting 20 overs and not scoring one. In reply, there were maximums from Sri Lanka as well. This match saw 207 balls without a maximum, which is the second most balls faced without a six in a completed T20I involving Test playing nations – where both are Test playing. In 2010 between England and Pakistan, there were no sixes hit for 223 balls.
A low scuffle
Though it was a low scoring chase, Sri Lanka faced difficulties and that is one of the reasons why, the run rate is on the lower side. There were only nine boundaries from both sides. The overall match run rate was less than five after playing nearly 35 overs. In a match between two Test playing nations, the overall run rate of 4.7 in this match is the third lowest. A match between West Indies and Ireland in Kingston in 2014 had seen 4.5 and in 2010, West Indies against Zimbabwe in Port of Spain had seen a run rate of 4.6.
A series win after 13 years
A long wait ended through a win in the third T20I for Sri Lanka. More than them winning the first bilateral series against Indian in T20Is. A barren streak of winless bilateral series across formats ended after 13 years. Sri Lanka had last won a series against India in July 2008. Post that series win, Since 18th August 2008, Sri Lanka and India had met in 20 bilateral series across formats and India had won 18 of those and drawn twice.