At the start of the chase, it felt like it would be a one-sided affair. After Sri Lanka set a mammoth target of 207, India were reeling at 57/5. However, Suryakumar Yadav and Axar Patel, with a 91-run partnership for the sixth wicket, brought the match closer.
In the first innings, Sri Lanka’s skipper Dasun Shanaka bludgeoned his way once more against India. His blazing innings of 56 from 22 balls propelled Sri Lanka to a total of 206/6. There were plenty of stats, here is a list of few:
Shanaka blasts his way
In T20Is, Shanaka has scored 407 runs at a strike rate of 141.3 against India. Against no other team, he has scored more than 220 runs. In his last five innings alone, he has scored 255 runs at a strike rate of 205.6 against India.
In today’s innings, he registered a half-century in just 20 balls, which is the fastest ever by a Sri Lankan batter in T20Is. Against India, his was the joint second-fastest half-century. Cameron Green, with a 50 in 19 balls, holds the record.
Too many no-balls
In this innings, Indian bowlers bowled 11 extra balls, out of which seven were no-balls. At whichever level of cricket, that is an unpalatable crime. Arshdeep Singh was the prime culprit, with five no-balls in his two-over spell.
Among the Test-playing nations, the seven runs conceded through no-balls is the joint most. However, in terms of deliveries, no team has bowled more than six.
Adding to Arshdeep’s no-ball woes, he now has 14 in 22 innings. Since his debut in T20Is, no other Test-playing nation bowler has bowled more than 4. Among India’s all-time list in T20Is, Jasprit Bumrah, with eight, is in second after Arshdeep.
6th-wicket high for India
It was almost done for India when they were five down within 60 runs. However, Axar and SKY forged a 91-run partnership for the sixth wicket. In T20Is, this is the best partnership for India for the sixth or lower wicket.
Overall in a T20I chase, only Daniel Sams and Marcus Stoinis (7th wicket) against New Zealand in 2021 had a higher partnership than Axar and SKY (full members). Paul Collingwood and Michael Yardy also hoisted a 91-run partnership for the seventh against West Indies in 2007.
A match that belonged to the lower-order batters
In this match, there were four 50+ scores, and two came from the bat of six or lower batsmen. In T20Is, this is only the third match where two 50+ scores have been hit by six or lower batters. New Zealand vs West Indies in 2014 in Wellington and Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe in 2019 in Mirpur are the other two.
After losing the fifth wicket for 57 runs, India went on to add 133 runs for the remaining wickets. In a T20I inning, these are the most runs added by India after losing five or more wickets.
Overall, among Test-playing nations, only Sri Lanka (136) against Australia in Geelong in 2017 and Pakistan (134) against Sri Lanka in 2015 in Colombo (RPS) had more runs.
Out of the 26 sixes hit in this match, 14 of those came from six or lower batters. This is the joint second-most sixes hit by the lower-order batters in a match (among full members). Only in the match between New Zealand and West Indies in 2020 in Auckland there were more (15).
Axar showing his all-round worth
In the first T20I as well, Axar, alongside Deepak Hooda, helped India in posting a total of 168. In today’s match, he almost got India through with a sensational knock of 65 from 31 balls.
In T20Is for India, Axar became the first batter to score 50+ batting seven or lower. Previously, Ravindra Jadeja, against Australia in 2020, had scored an unbeaten 44.
His innings consisted of six sixes, which is the most for an Indian number six or lower batsman in T20Is. No batters have hit more than four.
Axar joined an elite list of all-rounders. Among Test-playing nation players, he is the third to pick up two wickets, bowl at an economy of six or below (full four overs), and hit a 50+ score at a strike rate of 200. Sanath Jayasuriya against New Zealand in 2006, and David Hussey against South Africa in 2009, are the other two.
FEW OTHER STATS
At the age of 31 years and 309 days, Rahul Tripathi became the third oldest player to debut for India in T20Is. Rahul Dravid at 38 years and 232 days, and Sachin Tendulkar at 33 years and 221 days, were older than him.
Arshdeep, in his two overs, conceded 37 runs at an economy of 18.5. Among Indian pacers two have bowled two or more overs, his spell was the worst economical spell. Harshal Patel (2) against Australia in Nagpur had given away runs at an economy of 16, the worst then.
In the 14th over of the chase, Wanindu Hasaranga conceded 26 runs in one over. This is the most he has conceded in a single over in T20Is. Before this, against Australia in 2019, he had gone for 22 runs.
Indian pacers had conceded runs at an economy of 12.6 in this match. In innings in which their pacers have bowled 10 or more overs, only against West Indies in 2016 in Lauderhill, they had a higher economy (13.1).
By winning this match, Sri Lanka ended their 12-match winless streak on Indian soil in T20Is. This was the longest streak for a team without a win in a country.